54 districts lack state prosecutors

Director of Public Prosecutions Justice Jane Frances Abodo, and acting Minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs Muruli Mukasa during the end of the National Symposium of Prosecutors 2022 at Imperial Royale Hotel in Kampala on Monday. PHOTO / ISAAC KASAMANI

What you need to know:

  • The office of the DPP has 325 state prosecutors against the approved 862, representing 40 percent of the vacancies filled.

The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has named at least 54 districts that don’t have state prosecutors to prosecute criminal cases.

Justice Jane Frances Abodo attributed the understaffing in her office to being misunderstood for what roles they play.

“I would like to highlight the context of the office of the DPP within the judicial system as it is not always clear to many of our partners and stakeholders within and outside government. Your Excellency, the positioning and role of prosecutors in the criminal justice system is quite often misunderstood and hence given little focus as more effort is put on the courts and prisons,” Justice Abodo told President Museveni on Tuesday during the 5th Joan Kagezi Memorial lecturer in Kampala.

“The office of the DPP is present in 82 districts, but has no office presence in 54 districts. This represents only 60 percent national coverage. Due to acute understaffing, the office of the DPP has not deployed a full time prosecutor in the sub-courts,’’ she said.

The chief government prosecutor also named 73 courts without a full-time prosecutor.

Justice Abodo revealed that her office has 325 state prosecutors against the approved 862, representing 40 percent of the vacancies filled, leaving a staffing gap of 60 percent which translates to 537 staff.


She gave an example of Soroti region office which she said covers 15 districts with 29 judicial officers against 17 prosecutors.

The other example was Mbarara Court, which she said has eight judicial officers against four prosecutors with one going on maternity leave.

“What this means, your Excellency, is that each prosecutor handles about 40 cases a day in court as against several defence lawyers for the same number of cases,” she said.

“The same prosecutor is also required to attend to members of the public who come in on daily basis for legal guidance, prepare committal papers, summon and interview witnesses and attend to other related official responsibilities in their areas of jurisdiction,”  Justice Abodo added.

With such understaffing, the DPP told Mr Museveni that her officers hardly have the required level of efficiency and effectiveness. 

She warned of a high likelihood for prosecutors to make wrong decisions which directly affects the delivery of justice. 

But briefly responding to the demands raised by the DPP, President Museveni, who was the chief guest at the lecture, promised to enhance the salaries of the prosecutors.

One time, Chief Justice Alfonse Owiny-Dollo hit out at government for always creating new administrative units/ districts and not appointing more judicial officers in the new administrative units.

Districts without prosecutor

1. Agago
2. Buikwe
3. Bugweri
4. Bukomansimbi
5. Bulambuli
6. Bunyangabu
7. Butambala
8. Butebo
9. Buvuma
10. Buyende
11.  Gomba
12. Kagadi
13. Kakumiro
14. Kalungu
15. Kapelebyong
16. Karenga
17. Kasanda
18. Kazo
19. Kibuku
20. Kibuube
21. Kitagwenda
22. Kole
23. Kwani
24. Kween
25. Kyankwanzi
26. Kyotera
27. Lamwo
28. Lusot
29. Lwengo
30. Madi-Okolo
31. Marach
32. Nabilatuk
33. Namisindwa
34. Namutumba
35. Napak
36. Ntoroko
37. Nwoya
38. Obongi
39. Omoro
40. Oyam
41. Pakwach
42. Rubanda
43. Rukiga
44. Zombo

Courts without a full time prosecutor 
1. Apara
2. Batambogwe
3. Bbale
4. Bufunjo
5. Bugembe
6. Buikwe
7. Bukakata-Kyanamukaka
8. Bukomasnsimbi
9. Bunyagabo
10. Busembatya
11. Buseruka
12. Busese
13. Butenga
14. Butiti
15.  Buvuma
16. Buwenge
17. Buyende
18. Goma
19. Hacuyo
20. Kagoma
21. Kaiti
22. Kakira
23. Kakumiro
24. Kakuto
25. Kalungu-Masaka
26. Kanara
27. Kangulumira
28. Kanoni
29. Kapyelebong
30. Kasali
31. Kasambya
32. Kassanda
33. Kazo
34. Kibibi
35. Kibiito
36. Kicheche
37. Kiganda
38. Kigandalo
39. Kihihi
40. Kityerera
41. Kiyunga
42. Kole
43. Kurugutu
44. Kwani
45. Kween
46. Kyaka II
47. Kyangwali
48. Kyankwanzi
49. Kyarusozi
50. Kyazanga
51. Lamwo
52. Lukaya
53. Luuka
54. Lwemiyaga
55. Lwengo-Mbirizi
56. Maddu in Gomba
57. Mpara
58. Mulanda
59. Nagongera
60. Namisindwa
61. Namungalwe
62. Namutumba
63. Ngogwe
64. Nkoma
65. Ntenjeru
66. Ntoroko
67. Nwoya
68. Nyenga
69. Packwach
70. Rwampara
71. Rwebisengo
72. Rwimi
73. Sanga