Kigali, 25 May 2012

President Kagame on Friday met with Chief Justices of the East African Community and emphasised the importance of solid national justice systems as a pillar of political, economic and social development, and called for stronger regional and continental judicial mechanisms to solve difficult challenges faced in Africa.

The heads of the judiciary are participating in a three-day conference organized by the East African Judges and Magistrates Association and aimed at strengthening East African courts of law to deal with regional problems.

Speaking to the press after the meeting, the Rwandan Chief Justice, Professor Sam Rugege said:

“We discussed justice in our region and International Justice. President Kagame assured us of his support to the justice system and his wish to see justice served better to the people of the region. We also discussed the ICC and its handling of African cases. We agreed that it is not appropriate to have our people tried abroad, hence the need to strengthen our own courts to deal with our own cases.”

The Ugandan Chief Justice, Ben Odoki said Rwanda’s justice system is a model for East Africa because of its focus on finding local solutions to solve local judicial problems.

“Rwanda is looking at what serves Rwandan people better and that’s what justice systems all over the world should do. It’s not about what other people do, but what serves your people better.”

Present at the meeting were Chief Justices Sam Rugege of Rwanda, Ben Odoki of Uganda, Willy Mutunga of Kenya, Omaar Makungu of Zanzibar, Deputy Chief Justice André Nyabyenda of Burundi and Harold Nsekela, President of East African Court of Justice.