We need more prosecutors, DPP Abodo tells Museveni

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We need more prosecutors, DPP Abodo tells Museveni
DPP Jane Frances Abodo

The Director of Public Prosecutions Jane Frances Abodo has told President Museveni that more prosecutors are needed to be able to deal with a backlog in prosecution of cases.

“We grapple with understaffing. We need more prosecutors if we are to be effective and efficient. Judiciary is recruiting more judicial officers and this has led to a situation where we have more magistrates than prosecutors,” Abodo said.

The DPP was on Thursday speaking during the 7th Joan Kagezi Memorial Lecture at Kololo Independence grounds.

Abodo informed the president that if the country is to effectively deal with crime, the prosecuting body should be empowered in terms of enough staff to handle cases quickly and effectively.

“Prosecutors should be more than the magistrates so that when others(prosecutors) are prosecuting, others are in office waiting for files to peruse them and advise on the next course of action,” she said.

The DPP said there are currently 405 prosecutors present in 95 districts but without no office presence in 34 districts, translating in a 30% national coverage deficit.

“Due to understaffing we haven’t deployed full time prosecutors in a number of districts. We need at least 455 prosecutors. We ask for your consideration to have this challenge addressed.”

The DPP told the president that because of other equally demanding priorities for government, the prosecutors can be recruited in a phased manner with a significant number recruited every financial year until the required numbers are met.

Lady Justice Abodo also spoke about a challenge of gaps in terms of other supporting staff that she said ought to be filled.

The Chief Justice, Alphonse Owiny -Dollo also spoke of strengthening the capacity of institutions of the justice, law and order sector to empower them deal with crimes.

“There is need to strengthen the investing capacity in the country, prosecuting capacity and adjudicatory capacity so that when these acts of terrorism, trafficking in persons, among others come up, there is quick and effective investigation, prosecution and courts pronounce themselves so that we can make Uganda a no go area or else Uganda can become a beehive of these activities,”Dollo said.

“We need to strengthen these arms of government so that we rid our country of these dirty enterprises.”

Speaking in response, President Museveni the issue of increasing staff for the Office of the DPP is through proper budgeting of the little resources that government has.

"We as  guerrillas have tactics of managing scarcity. When budgeting, some of the demands need a one-time expenditure. You put money there and no other expenditures apart from maintenance .The hiring and recruiting  of people requires recurrent costs in terms of salaries per month," Museveni said.

"You don’t need to worry.  It is not that we are not aware of what is needed but it is a matter of dealing with what is needed urgently and then return to the recurrent ones. I am happy we are moving well. The economy is growing and faster than in the past. Victory is for the patient.

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