October 03, 2023

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Criminal Justice

Criminal Justice (14)

The Court of Appeal held a two-day session at Mbarara High Court to hear 32criminal appeals, most of which are Murder convictions. The session was being presided over by the Deputy Chief Justice, Hon. Justice Richard Buteera and Justices; Hon. Justice Christopher Gashirabake and Hon. Justice Oscar Kihika.

The cause list, signed by the Court's Deputy Registrar, HW Lillian Bucyana, show that there are 14 Murder, eight Defilement, seven Robbery, two Rape, cases and one Manslaughter appeal that the Justices will handle during the session.

Speaking at the stakeholders meeting, the Deputy Chief Justice pointed out that the session is held to bring justice closer to court users under the Mbarara High Court Circuit. This, he said, reduces the transportation and litigation costs for litigants who have to travel to Kampala to access the Court of Appeal.

Hon. Justice Buteera further stated the Court's commitment to clearing the case backlog in the Judiciary. He added that the session is a clear indicator of the Court's determination to ensure that justice is not only done but seen to be done.




Published: 7th September 2023

President Yoweri Museveni has presided over the pass out of 2,234 prison officers who successfully completed an 18-month training program. The new cohort comprises 200 cadet assistant superintendents, 318 principal officers, and 1,716 recruit wardens.

Their addition brings the total number of prison officers in Uganda to 14,248. The increase in the number of personnel has improved the prison officer-to-inmate ratio, reducing it to one officer for every six inmates, a notable improvement from the previous one-to-eight ratio. The United Nations recommends a ratio of one officer to three inmates.

During the commissioning ceremony over the weekend, President Museveni praised the Uganda Prison Service-UPS for its dedication to maintaining internal peace and security, implementing rehabilitation and skill-building programs, and contributing to poverty alleviation through various agricultural projects.  Notably, nine of the newly commissioned officers hold engineering qualifications. President Museveni encouraged the UPS administration to leverage their skills to construct additional prison facilities, addressing the issue of overcrowding.

Furthermore, President Museveni pledged financial support to strengthen UPS projects in agriculture and manufacturing. He stressed the importance of using locally sourced raw materials and discouraged the importation of fabrics for uniform production. “I don’t care who makes the uniforms or what, but I don’t want you to become tailors importing fabrics from elsewhere and stitching clothes, claiming you are manufacturers. You should source all necessary raw materials locally, except for silk, which we do not yet produce locally,” explained the President.

The President also announced additional security measures during the same event. He ordered the fingerprint marking of all firearms in the country’s armed forces and mandated the installation of digital number plates, citing these measures as crucial for enhancing security and reducing criminal activities.

Kahinda Otafire, the Minister for Internal Affairs, called upon the President to support UPS in acquiring more agricultural machinery to bolster the parish development model and increase cotton production for the revival of the textile industry. He also expressed concern about the growing prisoner population due to accelerated judicial processes and appealed for additional support from UPS and the police to keep pace with the judiciary.

Otafire discussed plans to revise the operational framework for all armed forces, differentiating them from traditional civil servants, and addressing issues of discipline and conduct.   “As teachers hold chalk, doctors hold stereoscopes, police, UPS officers, and the like hold arms. We cannot continue treating them in the same way, these are not traditional civil servants. Now a police officer can go away and you cannot charge him with desertion. How do you deal with commandant control of a person dealing with national security, but guided by traditional civil service? The same will go for immigration officers because this is our first line of defence we are coming up with papers to review these people’s conduct,” Otafire said.

Johnson Byabashaijja, the Commissioner General of Uganda Prison Services-UPS, highlighted the significant milestone of having 14,248 officers in the service, compared to the 9,000 officers it had five years ago. Currently, UPS houses 75,340 inmates, with 52 percent being convicts and 48 percent on remand. Byabashaijja acknowledged improvements in justice delivery and emphasized the need to further reduce the number of remanded inmates. He also mentioned UPS’s engineering team’s efforts to construct new facilities to alleviate prison cell congestion, with a goal of reducing it to 25 percent by the end of the fiscal year.

In line with the national security strategy, Byabashaijja revealed UPS’s acquisition of 35,000 acres of land, with a pending receipt of 15,000 more acres. However, he cited a shortage of machinery as a challenge in implementing agricultural projects effectively.


Published: 10th September 2023


The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Jane Frances Abodo has today launched Decision to Charge Guidelines to guide Prosecutors on their duties in the administration of criminal justice, particularly the exercise of their prosecutorial function.

These Guidelines provide for the charging process including; information and materials required for charging, prosecution advice, full code and threshold tests before charges are preferred, case types that require Prosecution–Guided Investigations, framework for bail, disclosure, post–charge case management, effective management and prosecution of cases in court, progression and review, guidance on the withdraw of cases, out–of–court case disposal, transition from the manual case management system to the new business rules and processes that are required by the digital case file, diversion practice, witness protection and management.

At the launch, the DPP said, “The exercise of the prosecution function makes all Prosecutors gatekeepers to the criminal justice system. In this regard, the decision to charge (and therefore to prosecute) is a serious step that affects suspects, victims, witnesses and the community at large, and so must be undertaken with the utmost care and diligence.”

“The exercise of the prosecution function makes all Prosecutors gatekeepers to the criminal justice system. In this regard, the decision to charge (and therefore to prosecute) is a serious step that affects suspects, victims, witnesses and the community at large, and so must be undertaken with the utmost care and diligence.”

She further said, “It is therefore the duty of a Prosecutor to ensure that the right person is prosecuted for the right offence, properly applying the law, and ensuring that relevant evidence is submitted before the court, and that disclosure obligations are complied with. It is vital that Prosecutors effectively discharge their obligation to conduct an objective and independent analysis of every single file that is presented to them for a decision to charge. Failure to do so carries high costs for society.”

In order to ensure that all Prosecutors exercise their prosecutorial decisions in a standard manner, the ODPP deemed it expedient to put in place guidelines to guide Prosecutors on the standards expected of them, their duties in the administration of justice, and the factors to consider in the exercise of prosecutorial discretion.

The Guidelines on the Decision to Charge are a critical and essential tool that will help the ODPP carry out its mandate under Article 120 of the Constitution to institute criminal proceedings against any person or authority in any court with competent jurisdiction other than a court martial.


By Jacqueline Okui | Published: 12th September 2023

Lady Justice Jane Frances Abodo, the Director of Public Prosecutions, has urged all stakeholders in the Justice Law and Order Sector, as well as the community, to join forces in the fight against human trafficking.

Her plea came during the inauguration of the Trafficking in Person Mobile App Platform (TIPMAP), a groundbreaking initiative in Uganda. Launched on July 28th, at the Kampala Sheraton Hotel, TIPMAP stands as the country’s first-ever Live Data Visualization Dashboard for Human Trafficking Cases.

Addressing the attendees, the DPP emphasized the role of the ODPP – TIPMAP website, which is expected to serve as a pivotal information hub for various anti-trafficking entities and the public at large. She prayed that this platform would contribute significantly to the ongoing activities aimed at preventing and safeguarding both Ugandans and non-Ugandans from falling victim to trafficking.

She further reaffirmed the government’s unwavering commitment to combat trafficking crimes by implementing record-keeping mechanisms and fostering information sharing infrastructure. Abodo stressed the importance of enhancing investigative and prosecution techniques to effectively address this pressing issue.

She noted that such measures were essential for the entire criminal justice system to function optimally and collectively work towards eliminating human trafficking in Uganda.





Today, the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) hosted a high-level meeting on rights-based approach to end HIV, AIDS, TB, and Malaria within the Criminal Justice System at Hotel Africana. The meeting brought together participants from the Judiciary, Uganda Prisons Service, Uganda Police Force, Governance and Security Programme (Access to Justice Sub-programme), Uganda Aids Commission, UNAIDS, Uganda Human Rights Commission, Uganda Law Reform Commission and Civil Society Organizations.

In her remarks, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Justice Jane Frances ABODO noted that, “Since the Global Fund Project on ending HIV, AIDS, TB, and Malaria within the Criminal Justice System commenced in 2021, we have sensitized a total of 360 officers from different branches of the Criminal Justice System, including Judicial Officers, Prosecutors, Police Officers, Prisons Officers, as well as Local Council 1 Members and Probation Officers. This sensitization aimed to remove barriers to accessing services related to HIV, AIDS, TB, and Malaria within our Criminal Justice System.’ She further noted that the ODPP in collaboration with the Uganda Police Force, Judiciary and Uganda Prisons Service has formulated user policies to enhance the management of HIV, AIDS, TB, and Malaria and to provide clear guidelines and procedures for addressing health-related issues within the Criminal Justice institutions.

She underscored that there are currently 16 pioneer consent-screening stations for health services within the Kampala Metropolitan area. She emphasized that, “By implementing this screening process, we ensure that individuals within these stations receive vital health screenings, enabling early detection and timely treatment of diseases, thus protecting all in the Criminal Justice System from the entry point – Uganda Police Force.”

On the other hand, Ms. Ayebare Proscovia, the Project Coordinator stated that there is a dire need to continue protecting and promoting rights and health of suspects and victims within the Criminal Justice System.

The panelists were Hon. Justice Mutonyi Margaret – Judge of the High Court, Mr. Elem Ogwal Charles – Former Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions and Mr. Mukiibi Paul – Head, Department of Law Reporting, Research and Law Reform at the Law Development Centre. They stressed the need to undertake screening of suspects right at police stations and in prisons. For cases of aggravated defilement, it was noted that it is critical to ascertain if the suspects were aware that they were HIV+ at the time of commission of the crime. They also emphasized the need for disclosure of the medical status of the accused persons as a means to mitigate the spread of the diseases.

The meeting was closed by Justice Vincent Wagona – Judge of the High Court who stated that, “The DPP prosecutes cases in public interest and in the interest of the administration of criminal justice, and this includes the interests of accused persons and victims to ensure that HIV, AIDS, TB and Malaria are addressed.” He further stated that all the other stakeholders in the criminal justice system are critical in achieving this end.

The meeting was held under the auspices of the Global Fund.


Jacquelyn Okui

Public Relations Officer


For any inquiries, please contact: Tel: +256 786927311

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 


Tel: +256701085346

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.





Today, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Justice Jane Frances Abodo has been presented the ABETO Africa Peace Award. This was in recognition of her remarkable achievements as DPP in the three years that she has been at the helm of the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP).

In his remarks, Mr. Musana Moses, the Chairperson of ABETO (Always Be Tolerant Organization); an organization whose aim is to inculcate the values of peaceful co-existence, resolution of conflict through peaceful means and get the people of Uganda, Africa and the world to embrace a culture of peace, democracy and good governance, stated that through the DPP’s good leadership, the ODPP has done so much amidst so many security challenges.

The Minister of Gender, Labour and Social Development, Hon. Betty Amongi; the Chief Guest at the occasion, revealed that the awardees of the ABETO Africa Peace Award had been meticulously assessed and their work ascertained to be fair, consistent and to have greatly contributed to the co-existence of all persons in the country.

In her remarks, the DPP expressed her gratitude to ABETO for presenting the award to her and reckoned that it shows that the work of the ODPP is being recognized and appreciated by its esteemed stakeholders. She stated that upon her assumption to office as DPP, she focused on a number of critical areas including High Level Crime, Reducing Case Backlog, Improving Staffing and Staff Welfare, Development of Guidelines for the Prosecutors, and Establishing a Prosecutors Academy. The DPP then highlighted that the conviction rate of the ODPP had risen to over 71% in the past three years. She noted that the ODPP has promoted expeditious handling of cases through the plea bargain initiative leading to remarkable reduction in case backlog thus contributing greatly to the high conviction rate.

The ABETO Africa Peace Award is given in recognition of Heads of State and government dignitaries who have championed the cause of transforming the state and quality of living in their countries.

Further, she noted that the office successfully pursued salary enhancement for the Prosecutors in the year 2022 and a tax waiver which commences this financial year. In addition, she stated that, “Early this year, the ODPP Virtual Academy; an online platform for delivering training and legal resources to Prosecutors remotely, the first of the kind in East Africa, was birthed.”

She categorically expressed her appreciation to H.E the President of the Republic of Uganda, Gen. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, the government, development partners and other stakeholders for supporting the ODPP in realizing its mandate. By extension, she also applauded the ODPP Top Management and staff for their tireless efforts in realizing the institution’s vision of a crime free society.

The Keynote Speaker, Dr. Livingstone Ssewanyana, UN Independent Expert underscored that the award was geared towards recognizing the roles of the awardees and identifying the people who make a difference in other people’s lives. He acknowledged the DPP’s efforts in reducing criminal case backlog. Within the region, ABETO Peace Awards have been graciously received by H.E President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni (Uganda), President Nelson Mandela (Former President of South Africa), President Salva Kiir (South Sudan), Amb. Ramtane Lamamra (African Union Peace and Security Commissioner), Eng. Mahboub M. Maalim (Executive Secretary of IGAD), as well as a number of other dignitaries.


Jacquelyn Okui

Public Relations Officer


For any inquiries, please contact: Tel: +256 786927311

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 


Tel: +256701085346

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


The Ag. Director of Public Prosecutions Mr. Alfred Elem-Ogwal has today issued a circular to all ODPP staff, JLOS institutions, the general public  and other stakeholders detailing operating procedures for the ODPP following the Presidential directives extending the COVID-19 lockdown for 21 days to 5th May 2020.




This circular follows the administrative guidelines issued on 20th March 2020 by Mr. Ogwal to all ODPP staff in the country. 




For any inquiries, the ODPP has provided the following contact information:


Mr. Vincent Wagona

Deputy DPP/Management and Support Services

Tel. 0794-332085


Ms. Jacquelyn Okui

Public Relations Officer

Tel. 0794-332233


Ms. Barbara Masinde

PA to the Ag. DPP

Tel. 0794-332472



Published: April 17, 2020 

The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) has launched child-friendly rooms at its regional offices in Kabale, Mbarara and Masaka. The launch of the child-friendly room in Kabale took place on 19th May 2021, presided over by Hon. Justice Moses Kazibwe, the Resident Judge of Kabale, was the Chief Guest. 

The launch of the Mbarara and Masaka child-friendly rooms took place today 20th May 2021, presided over by Ms. Rachael Odoi, the Senior Technical Advisor, Justice Law and Order Sector (JLOS).




Published: May 21, 2021


Hon. Lady Judge Jane Frances Abodo has assumed her position as Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) today April 22, 2020. This follows her recent appointment by His Excellency the President Y.K. Museveni as the DPP after the Hon. Justice Mike Chibita was elevated to Justice of the Supreme Court of Uganda.





Published: April 23, 2020


KAMPALA -- Today the 3rd of March 2021, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Justice Jane Frances Abodo has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Space for Giants (SFG) to strengthen the ability of the Office of the DPP to handle cases involving wildlife crimes.




Published: 3rd March 2021