Legislators sitting on the Public Accounts Committee of parliament have tasked the Directorate of Public Prosecution to explain the circumstances that led to the reduction in the disposal of cases from 25% in 2015/16 to 11% in the financial year 2016/17.
The officials from the Directorate of Public prosecution led by the deputy DPP Managing and support services, Amos Ngolobe had appeared before the committee to answer queries raised in the Auditor general’s report for the two fiscal financial years.
According to the Auditor General’s reports in 2015/16, the Office of the Directorate of Public prosecution had 400,377 cases brought forward at the start of the year, with 130,472 New cases registered during the year. This means that the total number of cases in year stood at 530,849.
The total number of cases cleared during the year was 134,887 leaving an outstanding 395,962 cases with a performance percentage of 25.
In the year 2016/2017, 395,962 cases were brought forward with 122,608 cases brought forward making it’s a total number of 518,570 cases in the year. The number of cleared cases stood at 56,058 cases, leaving an outstanding backlog of 462,512 which stood at a performance of 11%.
This reduction in performance from 25 to 11% propelled legislators on the committee led by Ntungamo Municipality legislator Gerald Karuhanga to task officials from the DPP office to explain the reduction.
The committee also grilled the Officials on the delayed procurement of a prosecution case management information system in spite of receiving 10 billion shillings out the $2 million requested.
“Your performance dropped by over 60 per cent, despite receiving more money, that is what we want you to explain,” Karuhanga posed.
Ngolobe claims that low pay, working conditions and small number of staff as some of the causes for low performance.
Deputy DPP, prosecution and quality assurance, Charles Elemu Ogwal said the judiciary is also to blame.
“Our making is cases that are brought to us, we peruse the files then take to court. You go to court, the judge is sick, the magistrate has gone to marry, so many things happen which are not in our control,” Ogwal said.
It is reported that in the previous financial year, 60% of judges left office for marriage.