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Inadequate Staffing Crippling DPP’s Work

Speaking at the ODPP’s office in Kampala while receiving prof. Ephraim Kamuntu, the new minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Charles Elemu Ogwal, said they only have 40 percent of the required staff.
14 Feb 2020 18:05


The acting director of Public Prosecutions has said inadequate staffing in the office that handles all criminal cases in Uganda is affecting their ability to fulfill the given  mandate.

Speaking at the DPP’s office in Kampala while receiving prof. Ephraim Kamuntu, the new minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Charles Elemu Ogwal, said they only have 40 percent of the required staff.

“The public service has approved a new structure that puts us at 833 prosecutors and 501 support staff but only 40 percent is filled. There is need to recruit new staff to fill the vacant positions,” said Ogwal.

He added that they are also unable to provide state prosecutors in 45 districts hence leaving such places unserved. “The demand for our services keep increasing with the establishment of new districts, new police stations and courts. At the moment 73 courts and sub courts have no full time prosecutors. There are now more judicial officers than prosecutors in the field yet this should have been the reverse,” he added.

As a result, he added, there is a growing case backlog in the criminal justice system. Ogwal also used the occasion to ask the minister to remind President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni about appointing a substantive DPP.

Mike Chibita, the former director was recently appointed as a judge of the Supreme Court hence leaving the position vacant. Ogwal said as an acting DPP, there are many things he can’t do like withdrawing cases from courts which the constitution only entrusts to the DPP.

Of the four deputies that the DPP must have only one vacancy is filled. In response Kamuntu said he was very keenly interested in knowing the challenges affecting the directorate and hence find solution for them. He said the process of filling the position of DPP is laborious as it involves the Public service, parliament and then the president.

He however said, he is going to notify these bodies so that a process can start.  As a political head, Kamuntu adds that he would be most interested in hearing the managers suggesting solutions to challenges Ogwal highlighted in order to ease his work.  

Meanwhile, Kamuntu revealed that President Museveni is disenchanted about the rate at which the government loses cases and the exorbitant damages that the courts award against government. “Why is government losing more cases than they are winning? If we are to take this as a measure of efficiency you would score poorly,” said Kamuntu. 

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