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State prosecutors demand Covid-19 allowances, PPEs

The Director of Public Prosecutions Justice Jane Frances Abodo

The Director of Public Prosecutions Justice Jane Frances Abodo

State attorneys under their umbrella body, the Uganda Association of Prosecutors (UAP), are demanding for Covid-19 allowances and personal protection equipment (PPEs), claiming they are highly exposed to the virus.

The prosecutors who deal in criminal matters across the country, said in a press statement that they are concerned issued about the increasing number of their colleagues who are getting infected with Covid-19 during the course of their duties.

The statement doesn't reveal how many prosecutors have been infected, but it says that last month, one of their colleagues, state attorney Isaac Omyulo who was based in Mbale succumbed to the deadly virus on June 18. 

"We have also had cases of Covid-19 infections in several offices including at head office, Rukungiri, Mbarara, Nabweru, Makindye etc which interrupted office operations, fortunately, some of the affected persons have since recovered while others are still undergoing treatment," reads the statement in part.

The statement adds: "The development, however, points to more serious issues affecting prosecutors across the country, some of which have been discussed with relevant authorities such as ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Attorney General, office of the speaker of parliament, ministry of Finance Planning and Economic Development, Public Service among others."

The prosecutors state further that as frontline workers in the justice, law and order sector (JLOS), they are disappointed over government's oversight in catering for the prosecutors in the Covid-19 supplementary budget, a step which has reportedly handicapped the operations of members.

Parliament in February this year, passed a supplementary budget of Shs 292 billion - most of which included money to purchase Covid-19 vaccines and face masks by the ministry of Health among others.

However, the prosecutors say, that unlike other stakeholders in the criminal justice system including police, prisons and the judiciary, they have remained unattended to despite being the frontline workers in the justice sector.

"To make matters worse, there have been further cuts in the quarterly release of the new financial year. This has significantly impacted on the delivery of criminal justice to the nation." the statement further reads. 

In December 2020, High court civil division judge Musa Ssekaana ordered government to honour its promises to increase prosecutors' salaries and also improve their welfare. The ruling arose from a case in which the prosecutors sued government over breach of a 2017 commitment that they had signed with UAP a few days after their sit-down strike.

The government had pledged to increase their salaries, waive tax on it, provide professional and responsibility allowances and also help in fast-tracking the passing of the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions Bill within a period of 90 days.

But to date, nothing has ever been implemented. The prosecutors now want government to fulfill its obligations, commitments and assurances to them before matters go out of hand. They also want to be given personal protective gear, funding for regular operational and logistical requirements. 

Comments

+1 #1 Zaitun 2021-07-29 16:42
These money lovers must wake up. They all behave like small children who are always asking their mothers for more, knowing very well that the grannery is empty!

If you think money grows on trees, why do you not grow those very trees in your gardens, or go and pick them from those trees just like you pick mangoes or any other edible fruits?

Are you the only ones in danger? If so, then stop coming to offices until this virus disappears from the world scene.

What will doctors, teacher, farmers and peasants, fishermen and women or every Ugandan demand as Covid-19 allowances and personal protection equipment (PPEs)?

Be reasonable at least. In your boxes, you call yourselves "the learned fellows". Please show to us Ugandans that you are really educated but not only money lovers!!!
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+1 #2 kabayekka 2021-07-29 19:57
That is what many have been saying all this time. The legal profession is working under very much strain and justice is becoming very impossible to be seen to be done.

The lawyers are asking very high legal fees and on many cases they do not seem to win in the Ugandan Courts of Law.

There is one judge who advised the legal fraternity to give up asking for bail for their client until more than 6 months in the future!
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