News and Announcements

News and Announcements (18)

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

LAUNCHING OF THE CHILDREN'S ROOM IN ODPP

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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.

Wednesday, 04 July 2018 00:00

THE 2ND ANNUAL ODPP THANKSGIVING CEREMONY

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The 2nd Annual ODPP thanksgiving ceremony which took place yesterday at the High Court grounds, Kampala. It's a time when members of the ODPP staff and well-wishers come together to dedicate plans of the year to the Lord and seek His guidance in the proper execution of the ODPP duties.

Friday, 07 July 2017 00:00

THE 2ND JOAN KAGEZI MEMORIAL LECTURE

Written by

 

The 2nd Joan Kagezi memorial lecture was held on the 13th of April 2017 at Hotel Africana, Nile Hall, Kampala under the theme “Addressing Challenges in the investigation and prosecution of cases sexual violence in conflict situations”

 

The lecture was presented by Mr. William Narus, Resident Legal Advisor of the United States Department of Justice.

 

The Annual Joan Kagezi Memorial Lecture was inaugurated in 2016 by the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions in commemoration of the contribution made by the Late Joan Kagezi (Ag. Asst. DPP) to the delivery of criminal Justice in Uganda. At the time of her death on 30th of March 2015, she was the Head of the International Crimes Department, which among others, was responsible for cases of sexual violence in conflict situations.

 

One of the cases that the Department was handling at the time was that of Uganda versus Kwoyelo Thomas Alias Latoni who is currently indicted before the International Crimes Division of the High Court for War crimes and crimes against humanity. The crimes occurred within the context of an armed conflict in Northern Uganda between the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) rebels and the Government of the Republic of Uganda between the years 1987 to about 2006. The accused was a Senior Commander in the LRA under the overall leadership of Joseph Kony, and was one of the LRA Commanders who was responsible for the attacks which took place in Kilak County, now Amuru District.

 

During the conflict in Northern Uganda, sexual violence was one of the weapons of war used particularly against women and children. In the course of investigations in the Kwoyelo case, evidence was secured that supported the offenses of Procuration of unlawful carnal knowledge, inhumane treatment and rape. The indictment against Kwoyelo was amended to include six counts of SGBV, which had not featured on the initial charge sheet. The focus had been on investigating and prosecuting the cases of murder, kidnap with intent to murder, causing serious injury to body etc. under the Geneva Conventions Act and the Penal Code Act.

 

Apart from the Kwoyelo case, there are other investigations into similar cases and expected prosecutions resulting therefrom.

 

Without doubt, the capacity of law enforcement agencies and other State organs to detect and adequately respond to these cases needs to be enhanced.

 

Problem statement:

 

It has been realized that although there is glaring evidence that cases of sexual violence were rampart during the Northern Uganda conflict, these are not adequately addressed either due to logistical challenges hampering evidence collection or other unique challenges encountered in handling these crimes and establishing their elements. Furthermore, the survivors of Sexual Violence often suffer acute physical and psychological trauma that require redress, else it has a destabilizing effect on the survivor and the community. There is also need to protect them from secondary trauma or victimization while encouraging their participation in the criminal justice processes. This is in spite of the shame, humiliation and stigma that may be associated with their circumstances. A safe system that protects and supports them once they have taken the decision to report the crimes committed against them must also be established.

 

 

 

 

THE ODPP STAFF ATTEND A COLLOQUIUM FOR PROSECUTORS WITH SUPPORT FROM THE US DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE AT HOTEL AFRICAN.

Under the theme “Strategies for Addressing Changing Crime Trends

 (Hon Minister Speech)

It is my pleasure to welcome you all to the colloquium for prosecutors and members of the senior administration staff in the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.

I commend the organizers, both from the ODPP and the United States Department of Justice for facilitating the coming together of the staff, not only to share experiences but also to acquire knowledge from a host of speakers with whom we share the quest for justice.

The theme of the colloquium is “Strategies for Addressing Changing Crime Trends”. This theme could not be more apt given the ever evolving nature of crime in an information age facilitated by rapid advancement of technology.

The several challenges emanating therefrom call for a concerted effort from all stakeholders to address the emerging and ever evolving threat of crime both organized and ordinary. This can be achieved by transfer of knowledge through sharing ideas, experiences, observations and concerns among others. The overall objective being to enhance Criminal Justice delivery in Uganda. This colloquium contributes to achievement of that objective.

A robust justice system is the bedrock for economic development and transformation. The economy cannot thrive if citizens and investors have no confidence in the rule of law and the important protection from lawlessness accorded by an effective and efficient justice system. The government objectives regarding administration of justice are:-

1.     To improve the legal, policy and regulatory environment to make it conducive for doing business to create wealth and employment. This is to be done through interventions such as strengthening the independence of the ODPP to administer Criminal Justice.

2.     To enhance access to JLOS services particularly for vulnerable persons, by developing JLOS infrastructure to facilitate service delivery as well as empowering the citizenry to demand and access JLOS services.

3.      To promote accountability and observance of human rights so as to increase public confidence in and satisfaction with the administration of justice.   

The fight against terrorism and transnational organized is particularly important to ensure a conducive investment environment to spur economic growth. The government recognizes that if not effectively combatted, lawlessness could severely compromise all other development goals including economic growth and thus hamper our vision to transform the Ugandan society from a peasant to a modern and prosperous country within 30 years.

Yet today, some of the greatest challenges posed to our country arise from terrorism and transnational organized crime. From trafficking in persons to drug trafficking, illicit trade in wildlife antiquities, child pornography and international money laundering, recent advancements in transportation aided by porous borders in the region have greatly aided the escalation of transnational crimes in the region and Uganda.

It is therefore incumbent upon all institutions in the Justice, Law and Order fraternity to stand up to the task and ensure that law and order are enforced. The office of the DPP is an important stakeholder in this process. I am however cognizant of the fact that administration of Criminal Justice is not a preserve of the ODPP and the contribution by all the other institutions in the Justice Law and Order Sector as well as the development partners is highly commended.

In this endeavor, regional and international cooperation is inevitable for the world is now but one large global village intricately interconnected by communication technology, trade and commerce and an efficient transportation system. Luckily for Uganda, we have strived to achieve and maintain cordial relations with our neighbors in the region and internationally. We value the partnerships and support of our neighbors in the region and internationally to stamp out the ever transforming scourge of transnational crime and terrorism. Through arrangements for mutual legal and administrative assistance, we have successfully denied criminals a safe haven in our country and our region.  The government encourages and supports more robust commitments for cooperation in criminal matters internationally and within the region.

I want to assure the ODPP of the commitment and support of the government and my ministry to ensure that you are adequately facilitated to fully discharge the constitutional mandate of your office. Nevertheless, administration of justice is an expensive venture which the Government of Uganda cannot undertake alone, given its several and equally competing priorities amidst limited resources. I therefore on behalf of the government wish to extend our gratitude to the United States Department of Justice for their continued financial support to the ODPP.  

I want to thank the resource persons with whom you are going to share a wealth of knowledge and expertise and it is my sincere hope that the discussions held here for the next three days will further the fight for justice, in a bid to create a crime free society.

I would like to thank you all for your service to your country, and I call upon each and every one of you to soldier on, especially those charged with prosecuting cases of terrorism and other trans-national crimes. Thank you all for coming to be a part of it, and now is the opportune time to declare this colloquium open.

I thank you all.

For God and My Country

 

 

 

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE AND CONSTITUTIONAL AFFAIRS, HON KAHINDA OTAFIIRE AT THE LAUNCH OF THE OFFICE OF THE DPP COMPUTERISED PROSECUTION CASE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM (PROCAMIS) AT IMPERIAL ROYALE HOTEL.

 

(Hon. Minister’s Speech)

 

It gives me the greatest pleasure to be here this morning, to launch a computerised case management system for the office of the DPP and to launch the new DPP logo.

In March 2010 Uganda launched the NDP succeeding the PEAP, as the overarching national development frame work. The NDP stipulates the countries’ medium term strategic direction, development priorities and implementation strategies.

Within the NDP 2 the Office of the DPP is anchored in Objective 7 which is “STRENGTHENING GOOD GOVERNANCE, DEFENCE AND SECURITY”. The NDP 2 elaborates that this objective will be assessed based on the quality of socio economic and political governance; economic and corporate governance; the quality of democracy and the level of security.

The NDP 2 recognises the administration of justice, law and order as an instrument for realising growth and social economic development. Thus, the plan acknowledges JLOS in which DPP is a major player as a key enabling sector for realising increased national growth, employment and prosperity.

Government acknowledges that the Office of the DPP directly contributes to the observance of the rule of law and administration of justice as well as democratic governance. The institution also indirectly contributes /or gains from the other objectives of NDP as;

·       Increasing house hold incomes

·       Enhancing availability and quality of gainful employment

·       Improving stock and quality of economic infrastructure

·       Increase access to quality social services

·       Promoting science and technology, innovation and ICT to enhance competitiveness

·       Enhancing human capital development

·       Promoting sustainable population and use of the environment and natural resources

THE ROLE OF ICT IN NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT;

It has been established that information is a key factor for any development process. In light of the catalytic role that information plays in national development, Government has set up a policy and legal frame work to ensure optimum utilization of this resource towards socio economic development. For Government to implement the NDP 2 and other development initiatives, timely and relevant information must be available at all levels of implementation. Developments in ICT have dramatically changed the way information is collected, stored, processed, disseminated and used, thus making it the most powerful tool for modernisation and development.

Indeed, ICT has been identified as one of the rapidly growing areas that have potential to leap frog Uganda to benefit from the globalised economy.

On behalf of Government I wish to express gratitude to the ODPP for embracing ICT in its day to day operations. It is clear from the remarks of the DPP and the service provider that PROCAMIS is going to improve on the operational efficiency of the ODPP in very important and significant ways. The prosecutors will be in a position to generate, process store and retrieve information in a much faster and efficient way. This will go a long way in expediting the prosecution of crimes across board. PROCAMIS will also keep case relevant information in a secure environment and avoid scenarios like that which happened in July 2009 when the offices of the then DPP were broken into and very vital information and equipment were stolen.

Given its role in the contributing to the NDP2  and in the promotion of good governance and in promotion of the rule of law out lined earlier, the acquisition of ICT and PROCAMIS in particular by the ODPP means that the public will henceforth expect and  get improved services in among other areas, the following;

·       Faster and more efficient prosecution of all criminal offences in general and serious crime in particular.

·       Generation and maintenance of more accurate and reliable case statistics that can be deployed in national planning and budgeting.

·       Improved and robust case management for the prosecutors

I also wish to congratulate the DPP Justice Mike Chibita for having championed many useful initiatives in the office which include the creation of regional offices to bring prosecution services nearer to our people and for spear heading and overseeing the development and now launch of an ICT based case management system that will no doubt go a long way in revolutionising case management and the enforcement of criminal justice for the people of Uganda.

With these few remarks, it is now my singular honour to do the following:

 

(1) Launch the new Dpp logo

(2) Launch the PROSECUTION  ODPP CASE ADMINISTRATION MANAGEMENT SYSTEM

 

FOR GOD AND MY COUNTRY.

 

 

 

ODPP, with support from the Justice, Law and Order Sector (JLOS) held the 1st Memorial Lecture in honor of the slain Senior Principal State Attorney, JOAN NAMAZZI KAGEZI at Imperial Royale Hotel Conference Hall on 28th of April 2016

The theme of the Lecture was “Fighting Terrorism and organized crime”

and the Lecture was delivered by Advocate Shaun Abrahams, the National Director of Public Prosecutions of South Africa.

  

The Directorate set up the War Crimes and Terrorism Department

 

Ms. Joan Kagezi, was the 1st head of the Department of War Crimes and Terrorism, which was set up in 2008, in a bid to strengthen the efforts of the ODPP in fighting terrorism. It adopted a prosecution led investigations strategy to ensure that evidence secured was reliable, dependable and admissible in court. This involved working with the investigators right from the commencement of the case, giving direction to the investigations, identifying the critical legal issues and ensuring that charges are supported by cogent evidence.

 

Joan’s work as head of the Department saw her involved in the handling of many cases of terrorism, notable among them was the July 2010 Bombings case where about 76 people lost their lives and scores more were injured. The Al shabaab took responsibility for the bombings.  Investigations confirmed their involvement in the training, financing and participation in the bombings at Kyadondo rugby club and the Ethiopian village. After a complex investigation in which she was closely involved, 15 suspects were produced in court and charged for various terrorism offenses. It was during the prosecution of this case that Joan was tragically shot down on the 30th of March 2015.

 

She was also handling several cases involving the terrorist killings of Muslim clerics in the country, international human trafficking and war crimes including the Kwoyelo case. The latter was in respect of atrocities committed during the LRA Northern Conflict in the country. 

Joan was a hardworking and diligent prosecutor, skilled in the art of prosecution and had a strong determination to see justice delivered. 

Investigations into her murder are still ongoing.

The Rationale of hosting the memorial lecture

The lecture under the theme “Fighting terrorism and Organized crime” was intended to draw the attention of the Public to the nature of threat posed by terrorism, the different forms of terrorism offenses and to educate them on the mechanisms so far adopted nationally and internationally. It was in honor of the Late Joan Kagezi’s contribution to the fight against terrorism.

Terrorism in Uganda

Uganda has experienced several acts of terrorism perpetrated through the Lord’s Resistance Army in the northern part of the country, the Allied Democratic Front (ADF) operating mostly from the western part of the country and even from the Al shabaab militant group which staged attacks on the people of Uganda in response to Uganda’s support for the AMISOM.

Uganda and the East African region is vulnerable to terrorist activity.

Measures to combat terrorism include strengthening the Directorate’s capacity to handle cases and prosecute them successfully, sharing of information, intelligence and evidence across borders and joining efforts to work together with police, security agencies, the army, the public, international organizations and other States.

Other measures include improving identification, seizure, freezing and preservation of assets of terrorists and terrorist organizations and ability to convert intelligence information into evidence. Terrorists are covert actors whose actions result into mass murder and mass destruction.  Use of surveillance and undercover officers then become necessary. Intelligence is a primary tool to ensure that terrorist plans are stopped before taking place.

CALL TO THE PUBLIC

The public is a very important stakeholder in the fight against terrorism. The first weapon against terrorism is the individual. Their eyes, their senses and their perceptions can be used to detect and combat terrorism. It was crucial therefore that the public is engaged by creating public understanding of the many faces of terrorism, and educating t

 
 

 

KAMPALA, 27 April, 2016 – The Government of Uganda and UNICEF have today launched a child-friendly justice handbook to guide  prosecutors and other actors in the criminal justice system,  in handling child-related  cases in a child-friendly and gender responsive manner.  

The handbook is produced by the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) with technical and financial support from UNICEF as well as financial support from the Justice Law and Order Sector. The UK government provided financial support to the process through UNICEF. The handbook will be used by prosecutors and other state as well as non-state actors and institutions in the criminal justice system.

“The handbook is an excellent guide in improving the delivery of justice to children, strengthening child protection structures and helping build a protective environment for children. It will subsequently lead to the rehabilitation and reintegration of children in conflict with the law,” says Mike Chibita, the Director of Public Prosecutions.

According to the Justice Law and Order Sector (JLOS) Annual Report 2013, there were 1,256 juvenile offenders in the year 2011-12. In 2012, the Uganda Police Force arrested an average of six juveniles per 100,000 of the child population.

More often than not, prior to sentencing, child offenders are held with adults, due to lack of separate holding facilities at police stations, which increases the risk of violence, abuse and exploitation. The conditions of detention are sometimes sub-standard, overcrowded and deny children their rights, such as the right to legal representation, parental access, and appropriate standards of health. Detention rarely results in the child’s reintegration and the child assuming a constructive role in society, which should be the objective of any justice intervention in line with the Convention of the Rights of the Child (CRC).

In addition, children’s cases are often processed through justice systems designed for adults that are not adapted to children’s rights and specific needs. 

The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) which Uganda signed, ratified and domesticated recognises the importance of child friendly justice. In addition, the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child also highlights the right of the African child to special treatment in a manner consistent with the child's sense of dignity and worth and which reinforces the child's respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms of others. It prohibits child labour and harmful cultural practices that put children at risk. At national level, the Constitution of Uganda sets out rights of children, including of those in conflict with the law. The Children’s Act Cap 59 further makes specific provision on the processes of arrest and charging, pre-trial detention and hearings, adopting the child rights based approach.

However, despite the existence of the mentioned legal frameworks, the justice system in Uganda is still faced with severe constraints especially as far as child protection and justice is concerned. With the existing system, children are marginalised by the limited application of a child-rights based approach by relevant institutions charged with child justice and inadequate systems and procedures for justice for children.

Regarding sexual violence, Uganda is a signatory to international and regional instruments on Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) which include the Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948, the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women, the Beijing Declaration and Platform of Action, 1995, the Great Lakes Protocol on the Prevention and Suppression of Sexual Violence Against Women and Children 2009, the SADC addendum on the Prevention and Eradication of Violence Against Women and Children (Addendum to the SADC Declaration on Gender and Development). The Government of Uganda has undertaken steps to address sexual violence by enacting a gender sensitive constitution and drafting laws that prohibit violence against women and children, including the 2007 Penal Code Amendment Act No. 8, the Domestic Violence Act, the Prevention of Trafficking in Persons Act 2009 and The Prohibition of Female Genital Mutilation Act 2010.

Despite these efforts on the legislative front, the criminal justice system’s response to gender-based violence falls short of the country’s international regional and national obligations to prevent violence against children and women and to ensure their access to justice. Perpetrators still escape prosecution and punishment for their crimes. Delays in the investigation, prosecution and adjudication of SGBV crimes, poor case handling methods including exhibit mishandling, poor statement recording, outdated evidential admission requirements to name but a few, lead to poor case outcomes. The lowly response of the criminal justice system to the determination of SGBV cases is reflected in the ODPP performance statistics. For example, the DPP 2015 statistics show that the total number of defilement cases handled that year was 26,900. 8,176 of these were newly registered cases. About 8,000 of these cases were being mentioned in court, meaning that investigations in these cases were still ongoing. About 7,800 cases were under prosecution and only 1197 cases were concluded.

“No matter how children come into contact with judicial or non-judicial proceedings, their rights have to be protected from the time they enter into the formal justice system to completion,” Ms. Noreen Prendiville, UNICEF Deputy Representative in Uganda, emphasized.

As part of the process of the development of the handbook, the Director of Public Prosecutions appointed a task force consisting of prosecutors and members of the ODPP policy unit that conducted field consultations, which identified gaps and challenges in the implementation of a child friendly criminal justice system. The consultative meetings established that one of the main problems faced by prosecutors, adjudicators and investigators was the failure to understand and therefore apply the concept of “child friendly justice”.

What is Child-Friendly Justice?

Child-Friendly Justice refers to justice systems which guarantee the respect and the effective implementation of all children’s rights. The key issues for consideration in determining whether or not an intervention is child-friendly are:

-          Is this proposed action in the best interests of the children?

-          Does it safeguard their life and survival and actively contribute to their development?

-          Is it taking into consideration the needs of all children, without discrimination against particular groups?

-          Are there adequate resources available?


In summary this concept requires that children in contact with the law either as victims, witnesses or those in conflict with the law, be handled in a way that is humane and which recognises their legal and physical vulnerabilities. Such a system should be adapted to and focused on the needs of the child.

This hand book therefore delves into the subjects of child friendly justice, diversion, child age determination, detention of children, evidence of children, statement taking, and working with child victims and witnesses of Sexual and Gender Based Violence Crimes as well as the child justice institutional set up and mandates. It provides child justice practitioners with the basic tools of how to handle children in contact with the law.

“UNICEF pledges to continue working with the Government to promote the strengthening of all parts of the child protection system, including the justice mechanisms, to operate in the best interest of the child,” Ms. Prendiville concluded.

About UNICEF
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.

Friday, 18 December 2015 00:00

Victim’s Rights and Victim Centered Approach

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Victim’s Rights and Victim centered approach

The Directorate through the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) has engaged a consultant to develop a Victim-centered approach to address victim’s rights.

The Directorate is spearheading an initiative to introduce a victim rights-centered approach to its work. This was unveiled at the consultative workshop held at Golf Course Lane on the 7th of December 2015 between DPP staff and members of the (OHCHR).

The Directorate will embark on building the DPP’s Victims’ Rights policy, ensuring that sensitivity is shown to victims’ plight and that the rights and interests of the victim are protected when engaging with the DPP’s office.

 

As part of this initiative the DPP plans on expanding the complaints desk at the headquarters and in all field stations countrywide, to include a victims’ rights Unit which will be the mechanism for effective response to the needs of victims. These desk officers will be responsible to maintain contact with victims, update them on their cases, refer them to other appropriate agencies for further handling and guide them on the legal process pertaining to their case file.

 

 

 

Compiled by;

Irene Nakimbugwe

Deputy Public Relations officer - DPP

Friday, 18 December 2015 00:00

The Anti-Corruption week

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Anti Corruption week

The Anti- Corruption week slated for 1st- 4th December 2015 was organized by Ministry of Ethics and Integrity under the theme; Break the syndicate of corruption. The activities kicked off by a marching parade with Uganda Prisons band from the Parliamentary grounds to City Square and then back to Parliamentary grounds. The agencies which participated in the march included, but not limited to; The Directorate of public prosecutions, Auditor General, Inspectorate of Government and the Anti Corruption Coalition- Uganda among others.

The march was flagged off by the Chief Walker, the 3rd Premier Kirunda Kivenjija who during his speech commended all the agencies for the good work and encouraged everyone to step up the fight.  

The week was crowned with an exhibition at the Anti- Corruption Court in Kololo, where agencies show cased what they had so far accomplished in the fight against corruption. The Directorate was represented by the Deputy Dpp- Mr. Amos Ngolobe who in his speech outlined the achievements of the Directorate in the fight against corruption, especially in plea bargaining were colossal sums of money have been recovered from accused persons.

 

Compiled by;

Irene Nakimbugwe

Deputy Public Relations officer - DPP

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Vision And Mission

VISION

 “A crime free society”.

MISSION

 “To handle and prosecute criminal cases in a just, effective and efficient manner”.

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