The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions held it’s 7th Joan Kagezi Memorial Lecture at the Kololo Independence Grounds. The event was organized in honour the of the memory of the late Joan Kagezi, a respected and dedicated prosecutor who lost her life in the line of duty.

The theme of the event was *’Prosecution of Transnational Organized Crimes to Foster Security and Socio-Economic Development: The Linkage between Terrorism, Human Trafficking and Smuggling of Migrants.’* And His Excellency Yoweri Kaguta Museveni Tibuhaburwa was the Chief Guest.

The gathering was also graced by the Rt Honourable Speaker of Parliament of the Republic of Uganda, Anita Annet Among, the Chief Justice of Uganda Honourable Alfonse Chigamoy Owiny-Dollo, the Deputy Chief Justice Hon. Justice Richard Buteera, Judges of the High court, leaders of Diplomatic Missions, the Kagezi children, heads of prominent International Organizations, and various other esteemed dignitaries.

 The Kagezi family expressed their heartfelt appreciation to the ODPP and all the stakeholders who organized the event. Philip Kagezi, speaking on behalf of the family, shared that Joan Kagezi was not just a Prosecutor, but a compassionate advocate for the rights of migrants. She worked tirelessly to ensure their rights were upheld and that justice was served on their behalf. Her untimely passing was a great loss, not just to her family but to the entire community.

His Excellency Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, the President of Uganda, recognized the obligation upheld by the state in providing support for the family of the late Joan Kagezi, particularly in the area of education for her children. This has enabled the children to become leaders in their respective fields, contributing positively to society.

 During her address, Lady Justice Jane Frances Abodo, the Director of Public Prosecutions, expressed her sincere gratitude to the President for his unwavering support towards enhancing the welfare of the ODPP staff. The support has served as a source of inspiration for Prosecutors, who are now rendering their services with more enthusiasm and dedication. Consequently, there has been remarkable progress in directing and guiding criminal investigations, as well as prosecuting criminal cases. By the conclusion of the 2023/2024 financial year, the ODPP had registered 125,600 cases at both the magistrate and the High Court. So far, 115,102 cases have been handled, with a conviction rate of 73 percent. Additionally, 116 cases have been tried and convicted with a rate of 90 percent at the anti-corruption court.

 The Chief Justice, Honorable Alfonse Chigamoy Owiny-Dollo, emphasized the importance of strengthening the investigative, prosecuting, and adjudicatory capacities in our country. His remarks highlighted the need for quick and effective investigation and prosecution of crimes related to terrorism and human trafficking, which can be achieved by improving these capacities.

The Honorable Speaker of Parliament, Anita Annet Among, expressed her appreciation for the invitation to the event. She requested the President to consider providing additional support to the Judiciary and the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.

The Head of Office for the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in Uganda, Ms. Sharon Lesa Nyambe, delivered a keynote address on the vital importance of prosecuting transnational organized crimes. The address highlighted the devastating impact of such crimes on the fundamental rights of victims, along with economic, social, and political implications leading to corruption and instability. These crimes also impede sustainable development and equity, perpetuating cycles of poverty and inequality. She urged that to combat human trafficking and the smuggling of migrants, a holistic strategy that includes prevention, protection, prosecution, and collaboration is necessary. She mentioned that the UNODC remains steadfast in its commitment to promoting peace and sustainable well-being, with a focus on addressing ongoing challenges related to health, security, and justice in Uganda.

The ODPP presented the President with an award to recognize him for being a champion of Justice.

An Appreciation Award was presented to the Honorable Chief Justice for his valuable partnership and support in ensuring the realization of the mandate of the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.

An appreciation award was also presented to Ms Sharon Lesa Nyambe Head of Office UNODC for her remarkable support and contribution which have been instrumental in the success story of the ODPP in administering criminal justice in Uganda.

The lecture was a fitting tribute to Joan Kagezi’s legacy and brought together stakeholders from various organizations to discuss issues related to justice, and law enforcement to counter terrorism, human trafficking and smuggling of migrants. The panel discussion was moderated by Mr Charles Elem-Ogwal Rtd Deputy DPP and included four discussants; Mr Lino Anguzu, Assistant DPP/ Head, International Crimes Department, Dr Josephine Ndagire, Lecturer, Department of Public and Comparative Law -Makerere University, Commissioner of Police Lydia Kantono, Head, War Crimes Department – Uganda Police Force and Ms Gabby Massey, Country Director, Human Trafficking Institute.

This event was sponsored by the Government of Uganda (GoU), the Justice Law and Order Sector (JLOS), the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Redeem International and Human Trafficking Institute (HTI)

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