Saturday, 26 November 2022 00:00

 

The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Jane Frances Abodo has received an award for exemplary leadership and selfless contribution to the Justice, Law and Order Sector, and for outstanding contribution towards Uganda middle income status aspiration and Vision 2040. The award was presented by the Minister of Public Service Hon. Muruli Mukasa – Chief Guest, at the 10th Visionaries of Uganda Awards Ceremony that was held on 24th November 2022 at Kampala Serena Hotel.

Speaking at the event as Guest Speaker, the DPP explained the role of the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) towards Uganda’s socio–economic transformation. She pointed out that effective prosecution of criminal cases contributes to the advancement of social justice, and the pursuit of justice for all. It also creates a friendly and secure environment which are pertinent preconditions for inclusive growth and competitiveness. She informed the business community of the need for their collaboration with the Office of the DPP to ensure that criminal justice is administered. The DPP appreciated the Government of Uganda for the award and congratulated all the other awardees, encouraging them to work harder.

 

Hon. Muruli Mukasa said, “The 10th Visionaries of Uganda Awards Ceremony aims to recognize individuals and organizations that have excelled in the realization of Vision 2040.” He congratulated all the awardees.

 

Jacquelyn Okui

Public Relations Officer

 

 

 

 

 

Tuesday, 04 October 2022 00:00

PRESS RELEASE

KAHINDA OTAFIIRE LAUNCHES PROGRAM FOR SCREENING HIV, TB AND MALARIA AT POLICE STATIONS TO PREVENT SPREAD OF THE DISEASES IN THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM

Today 4th October 2022, the Minister of Internal Affairs, Hon. Rtd. Gen. Kahinda Otafiire has launched a program of screening suspects of crime, victims of crime and criminal justice actors for TB, HIV and Malaria at 16 Uganda Police Force stations. Information, Education and Communication (IEC) materials including a sign post, TB Screening Form, TB Referral Form and banners were also launched. The launch was held at Jinja Road Police Station.

 

The screening program aims at ensuring the right to health for employees of the Criminal Justice System, victims of crime and suspects through screening of suspects for early detection of the aforementioned three diseases for effective treatment and referral, so as to curb their spread within the Criminal Justice System. The Criminal Justice System comprises the Uganda Police Force, Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, Judiciary (Criminal Bench) and Uganda Prisons Service.

 

The program was developed by the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions with support from the Global Fund. The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Uganda Police Force with guidance from the Ministry of Health developed the IEC materials. The Ministry of Health HIV–Program, Infectious Diseases Institute joined to support the launch.

 

In his address, Rtd. Gen. Kahinda Otafiire stated, “The idea of identifying the sick at the entry into the Criminal Justice System will enable proper management of the sick so that they can undergo trial with strength.” He further stated that the Ministry is working on expansion of the capacity of holding cells for all inmates.  

 

Mr. Byansi George William, the Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions who spoke on behalf of the DPP Jane Frances Abodo explained the importance of ensuring the good health of suspects of crime by stating that they go through the Criminal Justice System, interact with all stakeholders therein and could therefore pause a risk to them, if infected. He also pointed out the need to address the issue of congestion in cells through the plea bargain program and alternative non–custodial sentencing measures.

 

CP Kulayigye Hillary appreciated the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions for initiating the program noting that it would benefit the Uganda Police Force immensely considering the fact that it is the entry point for suspects of crime. He also appreciated the Global Fund for funding the program.

 

Dr. Stavia Turyahabwe, Program Manager of the TB and Leprosy Program in the Ministry of Health emphasized the need for collaboration, fighting stigma and building awareness amongst the people involved in the program.

 

The screening program will be implemented in Kampala Metropolitan at the following Uganda Police Force stations; Jinja Road, Kira Road, Kira Division, Kawempe, Katwe, Kabalagala, Kasangati, Kajjansi, Entebbe, Nagalama, Mukono, Nateete, Wandegeya, Old Kampala, CPS Kampala, and SIU Kireka.

Monday, 01 August 2022 00:00

 

 

Today 1st August 2022, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Jane Frances Abodo has handed over ten (10) out of thirteen (13) vehicles received from the government to hard to reach stations in the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP). The stations include Bundibugyo, Kanungu, Kaabong, Nakapiripirit, Amolatar, Kabale, Moroto, Kotido, Mbale Resident State Attorney Offices and Luwero Regional Office.

Speaking at the handover ceremony, the DPP said, the Top Management decided to prioritise hard to reach stations due to the difficulty in accessing them and insecurity in some of the areas. She explained that the vehicles would enhance prosecution services as they would ensure the availability of the Prosecutors at their stations and in court. She thanked the government for funding the purchase of the vehicles.

 

Mr. John Baptist Asiimwe, the Deputy DPP – Management Support Services observed that, “Transport as a component of welfare affects performance.” He cautioned the recipients of the vehicles against using them for unofficial duties.

 

The Accounting Officer/Undersecretary, Ms. Kainza Agnes Nzogi stressed that the purchase of the vehicles was prioritised to facilitate the movement of the Prosecutors, ease their work, ensure their safety and the safety of case files. She cautioned the recipients against moving with the vehicles upon transfer to other stations and abuse of right of way on the road.

 

The ceremony was held at the office of the Resident State Attorney, Nakawa.

 

Jacquelyn Okui

Public Relations Officer

 

 

Monday, 18 July 2022 00:00

The Hope Event; Hope International Conference and Gala was held to create awareness to end child sacrifice and human trafficking in Uganda and worldwide, and to bring multiple stakeholders to dialogue about rescue of victims of child sacrifice and human trafficking, prosecution of suspects, rehabilitation of victims, and building momentum to combat the heinous crimes.

During the conference, it was noted that the following were imperative to combat human trafficking and child sacrifice among others:

- Address theology, greed, witch doctors’ presence and weak government systems.
- Resource stakeholders to enable them effectively fight the crimes.
- Establish a Prosecutors’ Academy for Prosecutors to keep learning, sharing, and enhancing their skills.
- Enhance punishments for convicts.
- Have special sessions for the cases.
- Build and resource shelters for victims.
- Deal with the root causes of the crimes such as poverty, conflict, discrimination etc.
- Synergize and consolidate efforts of various stakeholders to respond in a robust and coordinated manner.
- Pass the Witness Protection Bill into law and avail resources for its implementation.

At the Gala, Kyampisi Child care Ministries (KCM) under the leadership of Mr. Peter Sewakiryanga presented awards to the DPP Jane Frances Abodo and the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions in recognition of their hard work in the fight against human trafficking and child sacrifice.

Other beneficiaries of the awards include Justice Mike Chibita - Justice of the Supreme Court, Hope Nakirijja- a child sacrifice survivor, Coalition of Prevention of Trafficking in Persons (COPTIP), the Human Trafficking Institute, AIGP Akullo Grace among others.

Jacquelyn Okui
PRO-ODPP

Tuesday, 14 June 2022 00:00

JOINT PRESS RELEASE

ODPP AND EVOLVE - FILA SIGN MOU TO ESTABLISH VIRTUAL PROSECUTORS’ ACADEMY

 

Kampala. Monday 13th June 2022. The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) and EVOLVE – Foundation for International Legal Assistance (FILA) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to establish a Virtual Prosecutors’ Academy.

Evolve - FILA is a UK registered charity and criminal justice development organisation with the aim of improving access to justice, building the capacity of individuals and institutions, and promoting efficiency, integrity, and fairness within the criminal justice sector of Uganda.

 

Under the MOU, EVOLVE - FILA in collaboration with the ODPP shall design and handover an online course platform, syllabus, course content and other resources for training use, a range of updateable reference resources for prosecutors, deliver pilot training of a sample of prosecutors, and training of prosecutorial trainers, and conduct monitoring and evaluation of prosecutorial training effectiveness.

Speaking about the benefits of the academy, the DPP Jane Frances Abodo said, “The Prosecutors will be trained on the emerging trends in criminal activity, acquire new prosecutorial skills suitable for the 21st century, become trainers of trainers, and train other criminal justice actors. The academy will reach all prosecutors in every area of Uganda, and greatly reduce the costs and logistics involved in physical training.”

Mr. Alex Bennie, Barrister and Director of Programmes for EVOLVE - FILA who attended remotely from the UK said, “Prosecutors are the backbone of a Criminal Justice System, and as a criminal justice development organisation, it is essential that EVOLVE supports them.” Alex Bennie will head up delivery of the project.

Mr. Kibirige Apollo Kasujja, the Senior Project Coordinator at EVOLVE - FILA also said, “The signing of the MOU is a milestone on the journey of a great partnership towards achievement of a common goal of improving access to justice, promotion of integrity, fairness and efficiency in the Criminal Justice System in Uganda.”

 

The British High Commissioner, Her Excellency Kate Airey said, “I believe that this Virtual Prosecutors’ Academy will play a vital role in the improvement of professional skills and potentially broaden job-based specialisation in tackling crime for improved business climate and law and order.”

EVOLVE – FILA will be funded to offer the technical assistance to the ODPP by the UK Government through ROLE UK.

 

For media enquiries, please contact:

 

Jacquelyn Okui

Public Relations Officer

Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions

Tel: 0741244147

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Kibirige Apollo Kasujja

Ag. Communications Officer

EVOLVE - FILA

Tel: 0703446214

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

 

Thursday, 02 June 2022 00:00

 

 LAUNCH OF THE 5TH STRATEGIC PLAN OF THE OFFICE OF THE DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC PROSECUTIONS

Today 31st May 2022, the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Hon. Wilson Muruli Mukasa has launched the 5th Strategic Plan of the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) under the theme, “Streamlined, Efficient and Effective Prosecutions for Sustainable Socio–economic Transformation.” The Strategic Plan will provide the guiding framework and broad direction for the ODPP for the period 2021/2022 to 2025/2026.

 

The plan details the strategic direction for the ODPP for the aforementioned five years, presents the interventions and activities that will be conducted by each department within the ODPP, the costed implementation arrangements that draw up a risk and mitigation mechanism, the communication and financing plan and the Monitoring and Evaluation, Learning Framework for the ODPP to follow–up on its implementation and results.

 

Speaking at the launch, the Director of Public Prosecutions Jane Frances Abodo said, “The plan will guide prosecutorial agencies in Uganda to conduct, exercise and perform their powers under a coordinated, cohesive, fair, transparent and consistent justice system with the aim of enhancing public confidence in the criminal justice system and ensuring a crime free society, which are critical for Uganda’s socio–economic transformation.”

 

The Hon. Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs noted that there would be need for sufficient resource allocation to ensure that the strategies in the plan are realised. He pledged the ministry’s continued commitment to support the ODPP in order to ensure successful implementation of the plan. He further said, “I hope to see a better and more vibrant ODPP with more output that will increase the confidence of the beneficiaries.”

Ms. Sharon Nyambe, the Head of Office, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) said, “In the framework of our new programme, UNODC will support the ODPP build capacity in the area of cybercrime, combatting illicit flows, money laundering, and recovery of proceeds of crime.”

UNODC is partnering with the ODPP and will support the dissemination of the Strategic Plan in a bid to ensure its implementation.

 

Jacquelyn Okui

Public Relations Officer

Tel: +256 786927311

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Monday, 08 November 2021 00:00

 

 

The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions in collaboration with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) have launched “Guidelines on Investigations and Prosecutions of Wildlife Crimes in Uganda” at Garden Hotel–Entebbe today.

 

The Guidelines (Rapid Reference Guide) will provide a roadmap for prosecutors, investigators and other key stakeholders on how to implement the new Uganda Wildlife Act 2020, with an emphasis on drafting of charges and adhering to prosecutorial standard operating procedures while handling such cases.

 

At the launch, the Deputy DPP (Prosecutions), Mr. Charles Elem–Ogwal noted that, the tourist sector in Uganda is one of the most lucrative sources of revenue and employment, however this has been hampered by the significant increase of wildlife crimes over the years. The crimes have taken on the character of international organized crimes facilitated by syndicated criminal gangs engaged in transnational money laundering and transnational activities.  He underscored the importance of the Guidelines as a tool in curbing wildlife crime.

 

The Executive Director of Uganda Wildlife Education and Conservative Center (UWEC), Dr. James Musinguzi officiated the launch of the Guidelines and remarked that Uganda is a country rich in biodiversity, but wildlife crime especially illegal wildlife is challenging the conservation efforts in Uganda.  He welcomed the Guidelines and noted that they will go a long way in contributing towards the effective investigations, prosecutions and adjudication of wildlife crimes.

 

 

 

Jacquelyn Okui

 

Public Relations Officer

 

Wednesday, 06 October 2021 00:00

 The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) with support from the Human Trafficking Institute has launched the ODPP Trafficking   in   Persons   Prosecution   Guidelines, for   effective   handling   of Trafficking in Persons cases.

 

The Trafficking in Persons Prosecution Guidelines are offered to aid Ugandan prosecutors working to prevent and combat Trafficking in Persons, protect and assist victims, and effectively cooperate with other stakeholders in doing so.

 

These Guidelines highlight effective practices and techniques in every phase of the prosecution process and will be used as a practical guide and training tool for Ugandan prosecutors.

 

Speaking at the launch, the DPP Jane Frances Abodo who was the Chief Guest said, When prosecuting Trafficking in Persons cases, it is expected that prosecutors will follow these Guidelines to strategize, plan, prepare, and equip themselves with the right foundation to be successful. It is this foundation that will lead to better results in the prosecution of these cases, both in terms of victim support and in aggressive punishment of traffickers in Uganda.”

 

She further said, “When prosecutors aggressively pursue and have traffickers, punished, victims receive justice and community safety increases significantly for the most vulnerable.”

 

The Hon the Principle Judge commended the ODPP for the milestone towards criminal justice.

 

Jacquelyn Okui

Public Relations Officer

 

Wednesday, 08 September 2021 00:00

 

 

 

The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) with support from UN Women has launched Prosecutor Plea Bargain Guidelines.

 

The main objective of the Guidelines is to streamline the processes to be followed by prosecutors in conducting plea bargain and to enhance the efficiency of the criminal justice system for orderly, predictable, uniform, consistent and timely resolution of criminal matters.

 

They contain principles of plea bargaining, types of plea bargaining, the law applicable to the process, an outline of the plea bargaining process, contents of the plea bargain agreement, and its execution, monitoring and evaluation of the plea bargain procedure, as well as the roles of the parties involved in plea bargaining, their rights, and support systems.

 

“The Prosecutor Plea Bargain Guidelines are intended to train and build the capacity of all stakeholders in the criminal justice system and in particular – Prosecutors, Judicial Officers, Defence Lawyers, Police and Prisons Officers on the objectives and procedures of plea bargaining which are human rights based, victim/survivor centred and gender sensitive,” said the DPP Jane Frances Abodo at the launch.

 

On behalf of the Judiciary, the Hon the Principal Judge Dr. Flavian Zeija embraced the Guidelines as a remedy for injustices that were being caused during the process, particularly unfair sentences.

 

Dr. Benson Oketch, the Chief Guest who represented the UN Women Country Representative at the launch said, “The Guidelines are intended to elevate the survivors’ voices by allowing them to participate in the plea bargain process.”

 

The DPP expressed her gratitude to UN Women, EU–UN Spotlight Initiative and the Embassy of Sweden for the financial support towards the development of the Guidelines.

 

 

 

Jacquelyn Okui

 

Public Relations Officer

 

Friday, 21 May 2021 00:00

 

OFFICE OF THE DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC PROSECUTIONS LAUNCHES CHILD FRIENDLY ROOMS IN KABALE, MBARARA AND MASAKA

 

The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) has launched child friendly rooms at its regional offices in Kabale, Mbarara and Masaka. The launch of the child friendly room in Kabale took place on 19th May 2021, presided over by Hon. Justice Moses Kazibwe, the Resident Judge of Kabale, who was the Chief Guest.  The launch of the Mbarara and Masaka child friendly rooms took place today 20th May 2021, presided over by Ms. Rachael Odoi, the Senior Technical Advisor, Justice Law and Order Sector (JLOS).

 

In the course of its work, the ODPP encounters children who come into contact with the law as child victims of crime, child witnesses to crime, and children in conflict with the law (juvenile offenders). Therefore, it is the duty of the prosecutors in the ODPP to prepare child victims and witnesses so that their voices can be heard in judicial proceedings.

 

Speaking at the event, the Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions, Mr. Vincent Wagona noted that previously prosecutors faced numerous challenges when preparing children for court because some of the children would get timid, freak out or simply keep quiet when asked to narrate their ordeals in open spaces with adults. It became very difficult to get any evidence of child witnesses and some of the cases would be lost in court as a result.

 

Mr. Wagona further observed that a couple of ODPP trainings with Children at Risk Action Network (CRANE), an organisation that deals with children, revealed that children needed child friendly environments to be able to open up and tell their stories during judicial proceedings, resulting in the birth of child friendly rooms.

 

 

 

Mr. Wagona further said that with support from the Children at Risk Action Network (CRANE), the ODPP launched its first ever child friendly room at the head office. Subsequently, the Justice Law and Order Sector (JLOS) has supported the roll out of these rooms to the ODPP regional offices, for which the ODPP is very grateful. He also appreciated the Department of Gender, Children and Sexual Offences headed by the Assistant DPP, Samali Wakooli, for their efforts towards the establishment of the rooms.

 

These rooms are used as reception and holding spaces for child victims, witnesses before their appearance in court, preparation rooms for victims and witnesses for court, by the prosecutors, interview rooms for child victims and witnesses, therapeutic rooms for emotional healing, rooms for child offenders in the event that there is need for them to come to the ODPP and rooms for children who are at risk and may be in need of advice and support.

 

Indeed, with the creation of these rooms, it has come to light that the children who are prepared for court in this kind of environment tend to give better evidence in court thus reducing on the number of cases lost due to failure of children to testify.

 

“More cases can now be successfully prosecuted because children can now easily tell their ordeals.” said Ms. Faith Kembabazi, the Executive Director, CRANE.

 

Ms. Rachael Odoi, the Senior Technical Advisor, JLOS, observed that international law and practice emphasize promotion of child friendly procedures in the justice system whereby children who come into contact with the law, as victims of crime, witnesses of crime or those in conflict with the law, are supposed to be treated with dignity, and respect. They require that in handling cases which involve children, the children’s best interests should be a primary consideration and they should be treated in a child friendly manner. On behalf of JLOS, she pledged their continued support to the ODPP in promoting good practices that enhance access to justice for all. “JLOS looks forward to entrenching the child friendly procedures and practices in all institutions that deal with children in their daily work,” she said.

 

Justice Moses Kazibwe appreciated the initiative of the child friendly room in the ODPP and the institutions involved. He advocated for the other institutions in the justice chain handling children; the Judiciary and the Uganda Police Force to benefit from the initiative.

 

 

 

Jacquelyn Okui

 

Public Relations Officer

 

 

 

Thursday, 29 April 2021 00:00

 

THE ODPP/ CID COORDINATION MEETING

 

Today the 29th of April 2021, the Office of the DPP with support from JLOS are hosting their quarterly ODPP - CID coordination meeting at Hotel Africana.

 

The main agenda of the meeting is to assess the role of the ODPP and UPF in managing electoral offences that emanated from the previous elections of January 2021.

 

The meeting was attended by Top & Senior Management of ODPP headed by Justice Jane Frances Abodo, Officers from the Criminal Investigation Directorate (CID) headed by AIGP Grace Akullo, Representatives from UPDF headed by General Henry Masiko and the Chief Executive Officer from Uganda Law Society (ULS).

 

The ODPP/CID coordination meetings are usually a self reflection of the currently prevailing issues in society and the engagement enables the actors to take stock and pave the way forward in upholding the rule of law.

 

In her presentation, the Asst. DPP Ms. Barbara Kawuma stated that the Electoral offences unit in the ODPP was set up in August 2021 to specifically handle the electoral process of January 2021. She noted that the unit has so far as of March 2021 registered over 350 cases, where majority are on further inquiries.

 

In his presentation D/SSP Moses Taremwa from UPF articulated the numerous challenges faced by the Force during the election process such as lack of human resource to man all the political centers. Lack of protective gear for the police officers who were usually attacked by civilians and wrong elements while carrying out their mandate of maintaining law and order in communities.

 

 The CEO of ULS Mr. Moses Okwalinga noted that as ULS they are concerned about the selective prosecution of opposition members visa vie the ruling party. ULS further noted that the media was awash with stories and scenes of security agencies mating violence on civilians and members of the public. The Society pledged to work together with other stakeholders in promoting civic education in preparation of the next elections.

 

The meeting resolved to open the lines of communication and have more engagements with all stakeholders in order to make the electoral process smooth.

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday, 07 March 2021 00:00

 

DPP SIGNS MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING WITH SPACE FOR GIANTS

 

Today the 3rd of March 2021, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Justice Jane Frances Abodo has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Space for Giants (SFG) to strengthen the ability of the Office of the DPP to handle cases involving wildlife crimes.

 

The MOU was signed in the boardroom of the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) in a meeting attended by Mr. Katto Wambua, Wildlife Justice and Rule of Law Manager, Space for Giants, Mr. Justus Karuhanga, Country Representative, Space for Giants, Mr. Charles Elem–Ogwal, Deputy DPP (Prosecutions), Mr. Odumbi James Owere, Deputy DPP (International Affairs), Ms. Barbra Kawuma Bugembe, Assistant DPP/Head, Environmental and Wildlife Crime Division, Thomas Jatiko, Assistant DPP, International Crimes among others, chaired by the DPP.

 

Space for Giants is an international conservation non–governmental organisation based in Africa and committed to supporting governments to protect wildlife and Africa’s critical landscapes/ecosystem from ever–increasing pressures and wildlife crime. It collaborates with national and regional authorities on prosecution, law reform, wildlife management, policing and judicial authorities as well as international agencies and national, regional and international NGOs.

 

In her remarks, the DPP noted that the signing of the MOU was the beginning of an esteemed and privileged partnership between the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions – Uganda and Space for Giants.

 

She said, “Wildlife crimes have the potential to affect the natural ecosystem, communities and livelihoods. Wildlife crimes can also be transnational, implying that the sources of financing are syndicates of international organised criminals. The danger with this, is that some of these syndicates could end up financing other serious crimes like terrorism and arms trade. It is for this reason that the

 

 

 

Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions – Uganda has taken a keen interest in wildlife crime by setting up a specialised division based at the head office to handle and coordinate the management of all cases involving wildlife crimes. The division also monitors and assesses the management and prosecution of cases involving wildlife crimes by delegated prosecutors.”

 

The DPP thanked Space for Giants for the initiative and pledged to ensure that the Office of the DPP meets its end of the partnership. 

 

On behalf of Space for Giants, Mr. Katto Wambua, the Wildlife Justice and Rule of Law Manager at Space for Giants pledged to support the Wildlife Division of the Office of the DPP, scale it up to the regions and equip it. He further pledged to build the capacity of the Prosecutors and other stakeholders in handling cases involving wildlife crimes, support law reform proposals and international cooperation.

 

Mr. Katto Wambua thanked the DPP for affording Space for Giants the opportunity to consolidate its strategy.

 

Under the MOU, Space for Giants will assist the ODPP to strengthen and improve its ability to discharge its mandate through operationalization of the ODPP Wildlife Crime Prosecution Department, capacity building, developing a Wildlife Crime Training Curriculum and related educational materials, law reform, supporting regional and international legal cooperation mechanisms, enhancing case work standards and internal mechanisms for case management, and prosecutors’ awards.

 

 

 

Jacquelyn Okui

 

Public Relations Officer – ODPP

 

Wednesday, 10 June 2020 00:00

 

STATEMENT BY THE OFFICE OF THE DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC PROSECUTIONS, UGANDA ON TORTURE AND OTHER FORMS OF CRUEL, INHUMANE AND DEGRADING TREATMENT OF SUSPECTS

 

Following recent complaints and acrimony by various stakeholders of the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions regarding torture of suspects, the Office has found it important to state its position on torture and other forms of cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment of suspects.

 

The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, Uganda is a creature of Article 120 of the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda, 1995. The constitutional mandate of the ODPP is to prosecute criminal cases in any court in Uganda apart from the court martial, and to direct Police to investigate information of a criminal nature. The functions of the ODPP are geared towards the reduction of crime and the pursuit of justice. In exercising its authority and mandate, the ODPP is enjoined to have regard to public interest, the interest of administration of justice and the need to prevent abuse of legal process.

 

In accordance with its mandate, the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions does not condone the use of torture and other forms of cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment on suspects, and strongly discourages security agencies from carrying out interrogations that make use of torture and other forms of cruel, inhumane, or degrading treatment.

 

Torture and other forms of cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment are a violation of the law. They are ineffective as a means of extracting reliable information. Moreover, these forms of treatment negatively impact the physical and mental health of suspects. They have far-reaching consequences for Uganda because they damage its reputation, and undermine its credibility when it pursues international human rights.

 

Torture and other forms of cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment are a violation of the law

 

Security agencies are required to observe a wide range of international and national treaties, conventions, and laws that prohibit torture and other cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment, and the prohibition is absolute under all circumstances.

 

Article 5 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948 provides,

 

“No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”

 

Article 1 of the United Nations Convention Against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, 1984 which was ratified by Uganda in 1986 defines torture. It states:

 

“… ‘torture’ means any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity…”

 

Article 2 (2) of the Convention prohibits torture as it states:

 

No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat of war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture.”

 

The Constitution of the Republic of Uganda, 1995 which is the Supreme law of the land and has binding force on all authorities and persons throughout Uganda provides in Article 24 that:

 

No person shall be subjected to any form of torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”

 

In addition, Article 44 (a) provides that there shall be no derogation from the enjoyment of the right to freedom from torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

 

Moreover, according to Article 20 (2), the rights and freedoms of individuals and groups enshrined in the Constitution shall be respected, upheld and promoted by all organs and agencies of Government and by all persons.

 

The Prevention and Prohibition of Torture Act was enacted in 2012, and also prohibits torture and other forms of cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment in its Section 3, and renders them punishable offences.

 

Therefore, it is resolved that the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, Uganda:

 

1.     Condemns the use of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment as interrogation strategies and calls upon all Security agencies including the Uganda Police Force (UPF), Internal Security Organisation (ISO), External Security Organisation (ESO) to explicitly ban the use of such treatment and enforce all laws and regulations prohibiting its use.

 

2.     Shall order an investigation into every torture allegation that is brought to its attention.

 

3.     Shall prosecute suspected perpetrators of torture and other forms of cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment against whom there is sufficient evidence.

 

 

 

 

 

Jane Frances ABODO

 

DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC PROSECUTIONS

 

 

 

10th June 2020

 

Friday, 24 April 2020 00:00

HON. LADY JUDGE JANE FRANCES ABODO ASSUMES OFFICE AS DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC PROSECUTIONS

Hon. Lady Judge Jane Frances Abodo has assumed her position as Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) today April 22, 2020. This follows her recent appointment by His Excellency the President Y.K. Museveni as the DPP after the Hon. Justice Mike Chibita was elevated to Justice of the Supreme Court of Uganda.

The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) has been eagerly awaiting its head since the Hon. Justice Mike Chibita (JSC) left almost three months ago. We are therefore pleased with the appointment, more so since she is the first female DPP and one of our own, having served in the ODPP for over 20 years.

The Hon. Lady Judge Jane Frances Abodo joined the ODPP as a pupil State Attorney and rose to the rank of Senior Assistant DPP. She headed the Anti-Corruption Department for 8 years and successfully handled very high profile corruption related cases including the pension case of 88 billion Uganda Shillings, against Jimmy Lwamafa and others. In 2015, she was recognized by the Uganda Law Society as the best female prosecutor of the year. She left an exceptional record when she crossed over to the Judiciary in March 2018.

It is with great pleasure that we extend our heartiest congratulations to the Hon. Lady Judge Jane Frances Abodo on her new appointment. We gladly receive her, pledge our support and look forward to productive cooperation.

We wish her success in her new assignment and hope that under her leadership, the ODPP will scale greater heights.

We thank His Excellency the President for the appointment.

 

 

 

Jacquelyn Okui

Ag. Principal State Attorney/PRO

 

Tuesday, 24 September 2019 00:00

The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions has this morning received anatomical dolls from CRANE (Children at Risk Action Network), an organization that supports prosecution of cases of sexual and gender based violence involving children.

The anatomical dolls will be used as demonstration aids to help young victims of Sexual violence to clearly show to court what happened to them and also aid the prosecutor to lead the evidence without compelling the victim to recite words that they may be uncomfortable mentioning in public. Vulnerable witnesses eg. the deaf, dumb may also use them.

Sexual offences form the bulk of cases handled by the ODPP at the High Court and most witnesses are children. Research shows that young children are better able to communicate through demonstration than through language and the dolls provide children with a road map of the body.

In a criminal trial, prosecution is required to prove a case beyond reasonable doubt. This the prosecutors do so through witnesses who are called to tell court what happened. Oftentimes, the court will require this witness to clearly state how they were abused and if they are unable to do so the case may be dismissed on grounds that the prosecution has failed to prove a case beyond reasonable doubt. Refer to the case of Uganda Vs. Apai where the victim could not clearly explain the sexual act in public and court acquitted the accused.

Uganda as a country has most of its beliefs on a strong cultural setting. Most of the cultures believe or perceive the sexual act as a bad act that is not to be discussed in the open. Because of the strong cultural restrictions, some witnesses find it difficult to openly talk about sexuality. Individuals, families, tribes, communities all use different terms to refer to sexual organs.

Given that most cases of child sexual abuse lack external corroborating evidence, children's verbal accounts of their experiences are of paramount importance to investigators and prosecutions. The use of the anatomical dolls by prosecutors is expected to improve access to justice for children and vulnerable victims of crime through improved success rate in prosecutions.

 

PR Office - 20th September 2019

Sunday, 25 August 2019 00:00

REMARKS

BY

MR. WAGONA VINCENT:  SENIOR ASSISTANT DPP /AO/PATRON HIV AIDS COMMITTEE

 

We wish to thank the Government, specifically the President’s office for the innovation of the workplace HIV/AIDS committees for all the Government Ministries and departments, and for permitting these committees to source funds elsewhere other than the Government.

It is this effort that saw the ODPP HIV/AIDS committee participate at the Global Fund country concept writing.

I am proud to be the patron of this committee because of the commendable job that is going on in our organization by this committee. The committee has greatly spearheaded dispelling of stigma through her quarterly awareness campaigns, the committee supports the disclosed staff with a monthly allowance to improve their nutrition; we have work stations whose output has improved greatly due to diet support, the committee has sourced and placed condom dispensers in some of the  staff wash rooms and they Endeavor  to refill the dispensers at all time, and whenever funds allow the committee holds ODPP awareness week usually covering three regions each year.

We also commend the HIV/AIDS committee for the innovation of the rights based approach in the criminal justice system for the end of AIDS. This is an innovation we as an office pledge to support and we call upon everyone concerned to rally with us.

On this note we wish to thank the Global Fund through the ministry of Health for supporting the ODPP office in championing the rights based approach to end AIDS by facilitating the training of trainers.

 End of HIV/AIDS is a battle that calls every effort and indeed every one; it is the world’s desire hence mine and yours.

To this end, our office will continue to give a quarterly contribution to the HIV/AIDS committee to help them to plan and do awareness among the staff members.

Thank you.

 

 

Thursday, 11 July 2019 00:00

 

 

DFID Deputy Head of Office, Ian Miller today hands over vehicles to ODPP (U) and CID to facilitate corruption investigations countrywide.

The Director of Public Prosecutions Justice Mike Chibita and a team from his office this afternoon received a brand new pickup from DFID/ SUGAR TAF at the latter's offices at S&L Building on MacKinnon Road in Kampala.

Speaking at the handover, Mr. Miller stated that DFID recognizes the fundamental importance of addressing fraud and corruption and is aware of the challenges systematically encountered by prosecutors and investigators in handling cases of corruption. He noted that following the allegations of fraud and corruption in Uganda's refugee response, they availed 551,000 Euros to facilitate investigations for a year and took the decision to support long term capacity development for the institutions involved. These include the office of the DPP, the Inspectorate of Government, CID and the Financial Intelligence Authority.
DFID is the second biggest donor for humanitarian response in Uganda and a major supporter of the Government on tackling corruption.

The DPP thanked DFID and SUGAR TAF for the support they have given the institution in setting up its Prosecution Case Management System, capacity building for prosecutors and aiding the investigation of allegations of corruption in the Refugee settlements.

Progress in the investigations had stalled as a result of inadequate resources.
He promised that the resources availed will be put to good use.

 

 

Saturday, 15 June 2019 00:00

THE LAUNCH OF THE VICTIM’S RIGHTS AND EMPOWERMENT GUIDE LINES WITNESS PROTECTION GUIDELINES 

The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions in partnership with UNHCR has this morning launched two important books, that is; the witness protection guidelines and the victims’ rights and empowerment guidelines for prosecutors.

At the moment, there is no legislation in Uganda to provide for the protection of witnesses. Internationally, the UN convention against corruption, and transnational organized crime together with the Rome statute domesticated as the international criminal court Act, mandates all the state parties to put in place mechanisms to ensure the safety of witnesses. The government of Uganda through the Uganda law reform commission has since 2009 been working on legislation to cater for witness protection which is to date still work in progress.

 

In a nation that lacks a national witness protection framework, witnesses have no security assurance and are therefore afraid of testify in the courts of laws; this in turn hinders access to justice, fair trial and accountability for human rights violations combating impunity.

The ODPP in implementing its mandate has put up a number of measures to ensure it operates under a victim centered approach and also has made an attempt towards protecting victims of crime. The measures include, the creation of a fully-fledged department of witness protection and victim empowerment, which also among others, receives and addresses complaints or concerns that are raised by the public regarding criminal proceedings

Having realized the need to emphasize a victim centered approach in the ODPP and need to protect witnesses in order to efficiently and effectively execute its mandate; the ODPP partnered with the UN office of the High commissioner for Human rights (OHCHR) which supported the ODPP in a study to review the assistance of victims programmes and complaints handling mechanism in the ODPP. The study among others, recommended the development and adoption of standard guidelines for prosecutors.

 

The guidelines are meant to assist prosecutors to determine the witness protection perimeters and the scope of protection (in the absence of legislation); they are also designed to put in place a standard procedure to handle the victims of crime and to assist the prosecutors to appreciate the notion of the victims’ rights and how to have them realized during investigations, at trial and after trial.

 

It is from the above background that the ODPP is proud to launch these prosecutors’ guidelines. The prosecutors are urged to strictly observe these guidelines when handling victims and witnesses of crime at all stages of the case, as we await for the witness protection law.  

The ODPP calls upon all  law enforcement officers, representatives of the government , Heads of missions present, members of CSOs, academia and the general public to  advocate for the witness protection law to be passed so that the security of our witnesses  is guaranteed.

Friday, 30 November 2018 00:00

The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP), Uganda derives its mandate from Article 120 of the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda, 1995. Among the cardinal roles of the ODPP, is to institute criminal proceedings against any person or authority in any court with competent jurisdiction other than the Court Martial and to direct police investigations in criminal matters.

 

The ODPP falls under the Justice Law and order Sector (JLOS) which is mandated under the Second National Development Plan (NDP11) 2015/16-2019/20, to administer Justice, Maintain Law and Order as well as promote Human Rights.  One of the focus areas for the JLOS institutions under Chapter 14 of the NDP II, is “to fight corruption in order to strengthen Uganda’s competitiveness for wealth creation and inclusive growth”. In Particular, JLOS institutions are expected to promote accountability and observance of human rights, by among others, “adopting and implementing anti-corruption measures.”

Mandate of the Anti-Corruption Department

The ODPP executes its mandate through the different departments among which, is the Anti-corruption department which was established in 2009, to prosecute cases before the Anti-Corruption Division of the High Court. The core mandate of the ACD is;

To provide legal advice to investigating bodies in corruption and money laundering cases. (Prosecution-Led investigations);

To prosecute corruption and money laundering cases;

To Enforce Measures for recovery of proceeds of crime;

Maintain Coordination with stakeholders on corruption matters;

 

Promoting accountability and good governance in Uganda requires concerted effort of the key players in the Justice system. In this regard, the ODPP’s performance hinges on the performance of all the other key players in the criminal justice sector.

Achievements for November 2017 to October 2018

Prosecution- led investigations

A number of cases have been handled under the prosecution LED investigations process. In term of prosecution led investigations, most of the cases are carried over and they take time to conclude since the prosecution team is involved in the investigations right from the beginning. A total of 18 cases have been handled and investigations therein are still ongoing due to the complexity of the matters, understaffing of both the investigators and the prosecutors.

Further, we are in the process of developing Prosecution Led Investigations Guidelines. A committee was also established for this purpose and the draft is already in place.

 

Prosecution of corruption related cases and money laundering cases

A number of cases have been prosecuted and concluded in court, through full trial as well as plea bargain. On the part of ACD, effort has been made to ensure that the culprits who are willing to do plea bargain do so and the cases are handled quickly thus not wasting courts time and reducing on backlog. 161 cases have been concluded for the financial year July 2017 to September 2018. Specifically 132 cases were handled in the previous financial year and 29 in the first quarter of the current financial year 2018/2019. The percentage conviction rate for the financial year 2017/18 was 67.1% and for the first quarter of 2018/2019 is 87.5%.

 

Additionally the ACD is the process of developing a prosecutor’s manual on Plea Bargain. A committee assigned to handle this task was constituted and a draft manual is in Place.

 

The table below presents a highlight of the cases performance of the ODPP/ACD Department for the financial year 2017/18 and the first quarter of the financial year 2018

 

Case Stages

Gender Numbers

Number of Cases

Male

Female

Juvenile

Total

NEWLY REGISTERED

161

48

 

231

 

 

 

 

 

UNDER INVESTIGATIONS & DECISION TO PROSECUTE

 

 

 

 

Prosecution Led Investigations (on going)

24

6

 

18

Further Inquiries

222

57

 

281

Consented to Charge

35

16

 

42

Sanctioned

 

2

 

5

Committals

1

2

 

5

TOTAL

282

84

 

351

UNDER PROSECUTION

 

 

 

 

Under hearing

110

32

 

149

On Mention

21

7

 

33

 

 

 

 

 

TOTAL

132

41

 

187

CONCLUDED CASES

 

 

 

 

Convicted

38

8

 

45

Acquittals

18

2

 

15

Dismissed

9

 

 

7

Withdrawals

13

2

 

16

Closed Files

36

9

 

48

Administrative Action

1

-

-

1

Total Cases

115

21

-

132

Conviction Rate

67.1%

 

 

 

 

 

First Quarter for F/Y 2018-2019

Case Stages

Gender Numbers

Number of Cases

 

Male

Female

Juvenile

Total

 

NEWLY REGISTERED FILES

64

 12

-

61

 

 

 

 

 

UNDER INVESTIGATION & FOR A DECISION TO PROSECUTE

 

 

 

 

Prosecution Led Investigations (on going)

24

6

 

18

F/ Inquiries

69

12

-

66

Consented To

4

2

-

6

TOTAL

97

20

-

90

 

 

 

 

 

UNDER PROSECUTION

 

 

 

 

Hearing

77

18

-

96

On Mention

20

4

-

21

TOTAL

97

22

 

117

 

 

 

 

 

CONCLUDED

 

 

 

 

Convicted

8

5

-

12

Acquittals

3

-

-

 1

Withdrawals

4

1

-

 4

Closed

12

1

-

11

Dismissed

1

-

-

1

TOTAL

28

7

-

 29

 

 

 

 

 

CONVICTION RATE FOR THIS QUARTER

 

 

 

85.7%

 

       

                                    (Conviction)
Overall Conviction rate =             ________ 12 _________ x 100 = …… 85.7 ………. %
                                                            14                   (Convictions + Dismissals + Acquittals)

          

 

 

Appeals and Miscellaneous applications

The ACD handles appeals and miscellaneous applications at the ACD, high court, court of appeal and the magistrate courts. In the main we have handled 75 cases on appeal both at ACD High court and Court of Appeal. We have just concluded a court of appeal session of 40 cases most of which are still pending judgement. 16 miscellaneous applications been handled at the ACD high court. Below is a summary of what has been handled for court of appeal and the ACD high court for the period November 2017 to date.

 

CASE  STAGES 

Number of Cases

Male

Female

 

Total

 

 

1.

APPEALS AT ACD HIGH COURT

20

20

1

2.

COURT OF APPEAL CASES

55

40

8

3.

MISCELLENEOUS  APPLICATIONS AT ACD HIGH COURT

16

12

3

 

 

 

 

 

 

TOTAL

91

72

12

 

Asset Recovery

Recovered Funds

Between November 2017 to date, a total of Shs. 1,174,363,766/= has been recovered through compensation and confiscation Orders and deposited onto the Asset Recovery Account with Bank of Uganda.

Restrained Properties

For the period April to July 2018, Restraining Orders have been granted in respect of a number of properties, which include land, motor vehicles and bank accounts.  For this period alone, the following properties have been restrained;

Bank Account No 3020095743 – Centenary Bank

Busiro Block 432 Plot 456, Bumbuli

Kyadondo Block 254 Plot 628 Balita

Kyadondo Block 254 Plot 628 Balita

Kyadondo Block 183 Plot 1812, Busasa.

Kyadondo Block 183 Plot 1813, Busasa.

Kyadondo Block 183 Plot 1814, Busasa.

Kyadondo Block 183 Plot 1815, Busasa.

Kyadondo Block 183 Plot 1816, Busasa.

Kyadondo Block 183 Plot 1817, Busasa.

Kyadondo Block 183 Plot 1818, Busasa.

Stanbic Bank (UGX) A/C No. 9030009189369 – Village Mall Bugolobi.

Stanbic Bank  (USD) A/C No. 9030009189296 - Village Mall Bugolobi

LRV 3858 Folio 16/17 Plot No.1645 Kibuga Block 11 Land situated at Kabowa, Kampala District.

Plot No. 932 Kibuga Block 9 Land situated at Kagugube, Mengo Distrct.

LRV 3829  Folio 19 Plot No.840 Kyadondo Block 262 Land situated at Makindye, Kampala District

Kyadondo Block 257 Plot 691 Land situated at Munyonyo,

Kyadondo Block 257 Plot 690 Land situated at Munyonyo.

Kyadondo Block 257 Plot 109 Land situated at Munyonyo.

LRV 3868 Folio 5 Plot 78 Land situated at Nakivubo Road

Bank Account No.01407120002 Bank of Africa.

However, there are other restraining orders in respect of the pension cases which are ongoing and they get renewed every six months until the final disposal of the cases.

Training and Capacity Building for the ACD staff and other prosecutors across the country

Issues to do with corruption, money laundering, cybercrime and white collar crime generally are dynamic and complex. The cases handled at ACD are complex with evidence of a technical nature which poses challenges in analysing by the prosecutors thereby requiring external technical support. The technical capacity of the judicial officers is also inadequate in some cases. 

In light of the above, the need for continuous capacity building and technical support is inevitable if the staff is to deliver effectively on their mandate. They require continuous training and hands-on support in order to be abreast with the latest developments in white collar crime.

Since November 2017, 18 staff under the ACD has been trained in the following areas, Asset Recovery, Money Laundering and Terrorism, Digital Forensics, Public Finance Management, Trial Advocacy, Financial Investigations, Regulatory Impact Assessment for the Development of the Proceeds of Crime Law, PROCAMIS, Risk Management, Leadership and Management among others. These trainings are made possible by the ODPP, and other partners like SUGAR TAF, UNODOC etc.

Challenges Encountered

Legislative challenges: Anti-corruption measures call for strong legislations. However, Uganda still lacks some of the vital pieces of legislation, an Asset Recovery Law, Anti-Corruption Regulations, Anti Money Laundering Regulations, and the witness protection Act. With regard to Asset recovery, there is no comprehensive law but sections scattered in various pieces of legislation. Additionally there is no law that allows recovery of proceeds before conviction (non-conviction based asset recovery) and as such even when the assets are traced and identified and at times restrained, they cannot be recovered until a conviction has been secured. This poses a challenge given the burden of proof on the prosecution to secure a conviction. Property gets lost or disposed of even when it is tainted but for failure to prove a charge against the person beyond reasonable doubt.   

 

Lack of Mutual Legal Assistance Legislation: Corruption cases are in most times committed across borders and even some of the assets that would be recovered can be traced across the borders. However, there is no legislation providing for mutual legal assistance in that respect. This therefore means that the properties across the border cannot be recovered.

 

Inadequate staffing: The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions is gravely under staffed which affects the organisational performance. The success of any organisation largely depends on the human resource which should be adequate both in terms of quality (skill, knowledge and competencies) and quantity. For example, it is not uncommon to find one prosecutor appearing in court in a corruption matter involving more than five accused persons against more than five defence attorneys. The ratio of workload to staff is really high thereby creating a case backlog and affecting the quality of investigations and prosecutions.

Lack of legal and institutional framework for Asset management: Most of the assets that would be recovered are going- concerns and courts are reluctant to issue restraining orders in such cases due to the fact that there is no infrastructure for the management of such assets. Even in a case where a management order has been issued to the Official receiver, there are challenges because of lack of a clear management structure.

 

Cash Based Economy: Uganda is mainly a cash based economy hence so many people tend to transact with cash without leaving a financial trail which may be followed for investigation purposes. This makes identifying and tracing of assets difficult. Principally the prosecution is required to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt which is an uphill task where vital pieces of information are missing to tie the evidence together in order to make a good case.

 

Inadequate Skills in Asset Tracing: The investigators lack skills in tracing/identifying assets and at times the assets are not registered in the names of the accused and thus difficult to attach them.

Inadequate Tooling: The Asset recovery unit of the ODPP does not have adequate tools such as vehicles and yet there is a lot of movement.

Inadequate funding:  The ODPP suffers inadequate funding to conduct prosecution led investigations which makes it hard to trace assets. In order to effectively trace and subsequently recover assets, it is important that asset recovery investigations be conducted concurrently with the main investigations. This is in most cases not possible due to inadequate funding and as result property that is tainted gets disposed of.

 

Inadequate witness funds:  the success of a case is dependent not only on the quality of evidence but also the ability to produce witnesses to testify in court. Securing witnesses for court attendance requires funding and yet sometimes there are no witness funds in courts and so witnesses cannot be summoned which leads to stagnation/ delay of cases thereby creating case backlog.

 

Lack of cooperation from witnesses: There are cases where witnesses do not turn up when summoned leading to numerous adjournments of the cases. Some witnesses relocate making it difficult to trace them while others fail to testify due to fear for their lives since most of them are called to testify against either their colleagues or their superiors. This is worsened by the absence of Witness Protection Law. As a result some deserving cases have stalled in court while others have been withdrawn for failure of the witnesses to come and testify.

Recommendations

Legislative

A comprehensive law to provide for asset recovery law in Uganda should be enacted.

Legislate for Witness Protection.

Regulations under the Anti-Money Laundering Act should be developed.

Regulations under the Anti-Corruption Act should be developed.

Legislate for Mutual Legal Assistance.

Funding

There is need to increase funding for the operations of the ODPP and also remuneration of the staff.

Provide funding for the witnesses.

Ensure that the asset Recovery Unit is adequately tooled.

Staffing

There is need to increase the staffing for the ODPP in general.

Deploy more staff to the ACD

 

Capacity Building

Continuous training and hand-on support is needed in the following areas;

Cyber Crime (Electronic Fraud)—Identification, extraction, preservation and presentation of evidence emanating from fraud involving use of the computer and electronic transfer of funds.

Money Laundering (both local and international). How to identify a money laundering case.

Mutual Legal Assistance (How to draft an effective MLA)

Extraction and management of Evidence.

Asset Recovery (tracing, freezing, confiscation and management)

Financial investigation.

Public Finance Management

Basic auditing principles

Digital forensics

Trial Advocacy

Direct case support through provision of technical assistance.

Plans for the next year 2018-2019

Finalise the internal Plea Bargain Manual.

Finalise the internal Prosecution Led Investigation Guidelines.

Continue to conduct prosecution Led Investigation on the on-going cases.

Undertake investigations in the alleged mismanagement of refuge operations in Uganda.

Prepare and prosecute the Pension 3 Case in court.

Perusal and handling of files within the stipulated timelines.

Continue prosecuting corruption and money laundering cases.

Training of staff in money laundering and corruption matters and white collar crime.

Enhance the capacity of Asset Recovery Unit.

 

Conclusion

The theme of this anti-corruption week “Citizen’s Participation in the Fight against Corruption: A Sustainable Path to Uganda’s Transformation” cannot have been put better. The need for citizenry participation in the fight against corruption and crime generally need not be over emphasized. The ODPP and the justice system generally, heavily rely on the citizens to not only report cases at police, but to cooperate with the police in the course of investigations and to come and testify in court when required. Without their involvement, the fight against corruption would be in vain. It is therefore important that all stakeholders, actively and meaningfully engage the public in the fight against corruption.

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Thursday, 30 August 2018 00:00

The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) is mandated under Article 120 of the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda, 1995 to institute criminal proceedings against any person or authority in any court with competent jurisdiction other than the court martial; to direct police investigations in criminal matters among others.

 In the course doing our work, the ODPP encounters children who come into contact with the law as child victims of crime, child witnesses to crime, and children in conflict with the law (juvenile offenders). Therefore, it is the duty of the prosecutors in the ODPP to prepare Child Victims and Witnesses so that their voices can be heard in judicial proceedings.

The ODPP has embarked on putting in place measures geared towards entrenching child friendly procedures and practices in its work, the latest of them being the establishment of a children’s room starting with the head office. It is envisaged that this room which had been designed and tooled in a child friendly manner will be;

a)     A reception and holding space for child victims, witnesses before their appearance in court.

b)    Preparation room for victims and witnesses for court, by the prosecutors.

c)     Interview room for child victims and witnesses.

d)    Therapeutic room for emotional healing;

e)     Child offenders in the event that there is need for them to come to the ODPP.

f)      Children who at risk and may be in need of advice and support.

This initiative was made possible through our partnership with and support from the Children at Risk Action Network (CRANE). This room is going to be launched today the 29th of August 2018 after which it will be rolled to the Regional and field offices of the ODPP.

Purpose: To highlight the progress so far made in promoting child-friendly procedures within the ODPP and outline the next steps.

Current Status: The bulk of cases handled by ODPP are mainly defilement cases (Aggravated defilement meted against children below 14 years and simple defilement where children are above 14 years but below 18 years). The ODPP Annual Performance reports clearly show that defilement is rampant with the highest numbers of child victims as illustrated below.

 

Sn.

Period

Aggravated  Defilement

Simple Defilements

1

2017/2018

1,518

2,516

2

2016/2017

2,425

4,060

3

2015/2016

2761

4,857

4

2014/2015

3179

4997

Source: ODPP Case Statistics

 

In the course of handling child related cases, the ODPP Prosecutors encounter various challenges such as;

1.     Inadequate specialized skills by the prosecutors to effectively engage child victims and witnesses - (prosecutors are not trained to be social workers, counselors or psychologists.)

2.     Lack of special, child friendly spaces at the ODPP offices for preparation of children for court.

3.     Lack of special waiting rooms at court.

4.     Lack of witness protection legislation.

5.     Inadequate psycho social support services to the victims of crime. What is available is provided by Civil Society Organizations and they largely depend on development partners’ support.

6.     Victim unfriendly legislation regarding presentation of evidence of Children.

Key Mile stones so far.

1.     Established the Department of Gender, Children and Sexual Offences.

2.     Established the department of Witness Protection and Victim Empowerment, 

3.     Developed a Handbook for Prosecuting Child related cases in Uganda.

4.     Sensitization of all prosecutors on the above Manual.

5.     Training of Prosecutors on Child Psychology and Development.

6.     Establishment of a children’s room at ODPP head office.

Future Interventions.

1.     Establish Children’s room at Regional and RSA offices.

2.     Continue sensitizing players involved in handling child related cases.

3.     Review the Prosecutors’ manual on handling child related cases to match the emerging trends.

4.     Continue advocating for the enactment of Witness Protection Act.

5.     Design a Special Criminal Witness Protection.

6.     Continue to implement the Public Private Partnership Policy through establishing working linkages with possible partners handling children and SGBV matters.

7.     Continue promoting use of child friendly mechanisms while handling child related matters.

Vision And Mission

VISION

 “A crime free society”.

MISSION

 “To manage and prosecute criminal cases in courts of judicature in order to reduce the rate of crime in the country”.

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