After six weeks of a sit down strike, prosecutors have maintained they will not return to work until their grievances that include being paid professional allowances, salary enhancements, and tax waivers, are resolved.
The strike has paralysed all organs that dispense justice from the courts to police and the prisons.
Prosecutors are the ones who determine which cases go to court , the ones without whose signature no criminal matter can proceed in court.
In fact, the police is stranded with suspects, some of whom committed crimes too grievous to allow them return to the community
At the start of the strike, several cases were pending before the various judges of the High court.
Justice Yasin Nyanzi -(69 cases)
Justice Angline Flavia-(49 cases)
Head criminal division-(101 cases)
Justice Oyuku (FortPortal)-73 cases
Justice Mutonyi (Mukono)-63 cases.
Anti corruption court -(205 cases)
DPP speaks out
Jane Akuo Kajuga the DPP spokesperson, said delayed justice this has negatively impacted on evidence gathering.
“When cases delay,it has a negative impact on the witness’ willingness to come to court and testify,” she The Nile Post.
As if that is not injurious enough, to the police that arrests the suspects, the constitutional 48 hour rule is biting hard.
The force has been forced to release some of the suspects to decongest its cells.
At a busy police station, about 35 cases are handled on daily.
Turning to Prisons, over 10,000 inmates have not accessed justice since the prosecutors’ strike started, said Frank Baine the prisons spokesperson.
“The costs in terms of feeding, transporting and even time are enormous on the Uganda prisons,” Baine said.
On average, 1500 inmates are taken to court on a daily basis with 500 discharged.
Baine said only 100 inmates with civil cases are being discharged causing the institution to keep 400 extra inmates.
Currently, the prison population stands at 53,000 inmates. It was 56,000 a couple of years ago.
The drop is due to the cases that are civil which have been resolved.
The prisons mouthpiece said the numbers could reduce further if the strike is called off since many cases have stalled at the courts.
Baine said security at the prisons has been tightened because they are not sure of what the resultant effects of frustration could lead to.
He added that some times, they have been forced to take inmates to court even well aware that courts are inactive just to assure them the problem isn’t by the prisons.
The president of the Uganda Association of Prosecutors, Baxter Bakibinga, said they are still in engagements with government and the strike can only be halted after receiving tangible commitments.