DPP Abodo pushes for streamlining of Private Prosecution in the Country

Kampala – The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Jane Frances Abodo has called upon various stakeholders mandated with the duty of making laws to ammend the law governing Private Prosecution of Criminal cases in Uganda.

DPP Jane Frances Abodo (Courtesy photo)

At the launch of Decision to Charge Guidelines , Abodo revealed that the existing law has alot of loopholes which have aided many individuals to file unnecessary cases in Courts of law.

“The Magistrates can’t do investigations and then consult the local Chief, So am wondering who the local chief is , is it a Chief Administrative officer , is the local chief or ? i think we need an amendment to streamline private Prosecution.”

Abodo also raised concern about some Private Prosecutors who are not cooperative with her office after they have taken over the case , that these are the reason why most cases started as private have failed.

“Someone wakes up one day and draft something similar to a chargesheet, registered it as a case before court and later criminal summons are issued. As a chief prosecutor I can’t sit back when there is a mistake already made , thats why we take over to cool the situation.”

On withdrawing private Prosecution cases after taking them over , Abodo noted that they always give police a go ahead to file evidence in these cases but in the long run end up with only forms received from court as evidence which can’t sustain the case.

That upon mentioning the case for several time without registering any success and saving court from backlog, they are left with no option rather than terminating prosecution.

“Private Prosecution is a good practice if not abused. During my first two years in office, I gave a go ahead in two cases for private Prosecution in Mbale , they continued and they were very okay since they used to feed me with updates.”

On the other hand , the DPP revealed that at times its the private prosecutors who ask them to take over the cases.

Article 120(3) (C) of the Constitution specifically gives powers to the DPP to take over and continue any proceeding initiated by any other persons or authority.

This means that it is lawful and proper for any person or authority to commence and continue criminal prosecutions against any individual or group of individuals to the point of disposing off the whole case.

Article 120 (3) (d) of the Constitution also provides the DPP has power to discontinue criminal proceedings instituted by someone else except that this shall not be done without the consent of Court.















To Top