News and Announcements

News and Announcements (22)

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

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 HANDS OVER VEHICLES TO ODPP (U) AND CID

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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.

 

 

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.

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

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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.

 

 

 

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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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