Courts, prisons lose big in prosecutors’ strike

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By ANTHONY WESAKA

KAMPALA. Government has been losing huge sums of money following nearly two months of strike by State prosecutors as courts across the country failed to collect compensations from convicts.

Ms Jane Okuo Kajuga, the spokesperson of the Directorate of Public Prosecutions, said whenever the State successfully prosecutes corruption cases, court can order compensation or confiscation of property from convicts, which proceeds go to the government coffers.

Daily Monitor has also learnt that for the past two months, the Uganda Prisons Service has been spending nearly Shs16m daily to transport remand inmates to court.

Mr Frank Baine, the prisons spokesperson, said the fuel was being wasted as there is not much activity in courts since the State prosecutors laid down their tools over poor pay.

He said on average, the Prisons Service spends about 5,000 litres of fuel per day to transport the remand inmates to courts that are spread across the country.

But he was quick to warn that they would likely be short of fuel to transport the remand inmates to court by the time the by the time the strike would be called off.

By press time, the Secretary to Judiciary, Mr Kagole Kivumbi, was yet to ascertain how much the State was losing in bail cash over the two-month period.

Weighing-in on the economic impact of the prosecutors’ strike, Mr John Mark Agong, the budget specialist with Civil Society Budget Advocacy Group (CSBAG), earlier this week, said it was absurd that taxpayers were losing money and yet justice is not being served as a result of the prosecutors’ strike.

“For instance, the bulging number of prisoners with unresolved cases is bound to pressure the limited prisoners’ budget and capabilities. Still this situation has implications on peace and security particularly within the various communities that now have to feel the brunt of the delays in prosecution,” Mr Agong said on Monday.

“We know these prosecutors’ salaries are still being paid as they are on strike, in effect, we are wasting public finances in exchange for no work done, meaning there is no value for money spent on them,” he added.

Monitor.co.ug

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