By Spy Uganda
The Uganda Law Society (ULS) has called for a crisis meeting to address issues regarding the legality of arbitration and mediation centre, a privately owned company allegedly operating without the consent of its members.
According to lawyers, ULS in conjunction with Uganda Bankers’ Association (UBA) established the International Centre for Arbitration and Mediation in Kampala (ICAMEK), a limited liability company that seeks to protect and assist the public in matters concerning law.
ULS is one of the subscribers to ICAMEK whose directors are Mr John Fisher Kanyemibwa and former ULS president, Mr Francis Gimara, with law firm, MMAKS Advocates as the company secretary.
The ULS president, Mr Simon Peter Kinobe, Thursday said the members’ Extra-ordinary General Meeting (EGM) has been set for May 22 to find consensus on the issue.
“It is unfortunate that instead of seeking clarification and without citing relevant provisions of law, one of our members took to social media to smutch the good reputation of our society,” he said.
Mr Kinobe’s remarks follow complaints by a section of lawyers against ULS leadership.
Mr Nelson Walusimbi, one of the complainants, stated that ICAMEK was established without the authorization by the members and that one appointed the said directors because the idea had never been presented to ULS Annual General Meeting.
But Mr Kinobe said the conflict is misplaced because the issue of ICAMEK was discussed at the recent Annual General Assembly in Entebbe where all members were present and that no contention was raised.
“The ULS Executive Council under Section 10 and 11 of the ULS Act undertook its function and mandate to incorporate a company limited by guarantee that was dubbed ICAMEK with the sole purpose of arbitration. We incorporated a demand driven arbitration centre where the eventual beneficiaries are our clients and our young lawyers that would participate in the arbitral process as both arbitrators and consultants,” he said.
Mr Kinobe opined that any initiative that encourages the growth of young lawyers and development of alternative avenues of business should be encouraged by members.
In a separate interview, Mr Walusimbi said people adversely mentioned cannot preside over an EGM to discuss the matter.
“Personally, I would have stood aside for a complete inquiry. For those reasons, the team that insists on accountability will file a suit (court case) for fraud and illegality with respect to registration and conduct of ICAMEK,” Mr Walusimbi said, adding that a notice of intention to sue had been sent to ULS.