Covid-19: Ugandan Lawyers Participate In Emergency Relief Fund To Assist Colleagues Struggling In Lockdown

A group of lawyers led by counsel Isaac Ssemakade last week launched an emergency relief fund to help fellow lawyers who suffering due to Covid19 partial lockdown.

Advocate Ssemakade revealed that since lawyers were not listed as essential workers in the country, many are going through untold suffering and are starving because government did not name them among the beneficiaries under the ongoing food distribution drive.

An 11 member good will committee under the chair of Asumpta Kemigisha is reaching to every member for a fundraising drive which involves collection of both cash and in kind contribution to help lawyers that are in need.

Money not exceeding shs 500,000 will be sent to eligible beneficiaries as shall be assessed  by the committee.

Only lawyers with Uganda Law Society IDs and a badge of honor shall benefit from this fund.

Below is the interim Report:

The chairperson Advocate Assumpta Kemigisha Ssebunya and Treasurer Advocate Sylvia Namawejje Ebitu are pleased to announce that *the COVID19 Emergency Relief Fund for Lawyers has raised Shs 6,087,000 in less than 24 hours* after it was launched to help soften the mental, health and economic tolls of the coronavirus crisis on members of the Uganda Law Society.

An inaugural meeting of the 10-member Goodwill Committee, charged with the task of managing the Fund, was successfully held via the Zoom app between 16:30 hours and 18:50 hours to outline the process for raising even more funds and distributing them promptly and equitably to eligible beneficiaries. The Fund Convener Adv Isaac Ssemakadde was in attendance.

The meeting was adjourned to 16:30 hours the following day (Saturday, 18 April 2020) to complete the formulation of guidelines, make urgent disbursements, and consider and approve expressions of interest from two providers of mental health services who responded to the Convener’s call for action.

“We would love for us to raise Shs 20 million by Monday,” Counsel Kemigisha Ssebunya said in a short statement to the press. *“Based on the requests that we have so far reviewed, there are hundreds of people – from young lawyers to seniors and their families – that were caught off guard by the pandemic, and they are going to need our support. So I beseech the more resilient colleagues from the Law Society and the wider community to help us raise this kind of money, and give support to those that need it the most.”*

Funds have so far come in the form of mobile money donations by members of the Law Society, some of whom requested anonymity. There are no grants yet from government, corporations and wealthier individuals in the wider society.

Cash contributions received by the Treasurer of the Emergency Relief Fund, Adv Sylvia Namawejje Ebitu on *0700305059 (Airtel) or 0772364114 (MTN)* for now are as follows –

1. Anonymous – 200,000

2. Dora Uzamukunda – 102,000

3. Isaac Atukunda – 100,000

4. Daniel Ruhweza – 100,000

5. Mariam Mbabali – 100,000

6. Christopher Luwaga – 150,000

7. Daniel Makubuya – 100,000

8. Bernard Oundo – 1,000,000

9. Lydia Katami – 100,000

10. Martha Mugume – 500,000

11. Moses Kwoba – 100,000

12. Chris Luwaga – 200,000

13. Claire Kemigisha – 100,000

14. Emma Carol Rutaro – 100,000

15. Geraldine Semakula – 100,000

16. Joanita Nakimuli – 100,000

17. Irene Itol- 100,000

18. Mike Sempija – 100,000

19. Elias Bwambale- 100,000

20. Joshua Byamazima- 50,000

21. Ronnie Mulindwa – 100,000

22. Anonymous – 50,000

23. Assumpta Kemigisha Ssebunya – 1,000,000

24.Moses Magezi – 200,000

25. Edgar Mugenyi – 200,000

26. Anonymous – 20,000

27. Isaac Ssemakadde – 1,015,000

© 2020 COVID19 Emergency Relief Fund for Lawyers.

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