I Don’t Work Under President’s Orders, says DPP Chibita

The Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) Justice Mike Chibita has defended the criminal justice system in Uganda saying that it executes its work independent from the government.

He pointed out that those who claim that the justice system is a rubber stamp institution do it out of ignorance of the facts.

“I have worked closely with the President in the past to understand that he can never issue orders to the DPP. In the event that it happens, site I have my independence, capsule ” Justice Chibita said at a civic discussion on Uganda’s criminal justice system organized by Chapter Four Uganda.

While common understanding is that the institution should be transparent, information pills according to Chibita, “it can’t be subjected to democracy” and the public ought to have confidence in his office to
charge anyone.

“I handle 150,000 cases each year. If all these were subjected to democracy, there would be paralysis anarchy. There can never be 100 percent unanimity to try a case.”

Participants in the discussion however bashed Uganda police which is an arm of the criminal justice system for abusing human rights, illegal detentions (beyond 48 hours) and increasingly being politicized.

Chapter Four Uganda’s Sarah Kihika pointed out that these same ills have negated public trust in the police. She said that instead of making arrests based on reasonable suspicion and sufficient evidence, police has resorted to using vague legal provisions such as ‘disobeying lawful orders’ in the case of FDC’s Kizza Besigye recently.

On Besigye’s recent arrest, the DPP said; “Disobedience of lawful orders is a law and my office enforces any law given to us by Parliament. The public will always have a theory to argue whatever we do. We were opposed to granting him bail because capital offenses don’t attract bail. The law must not segregate between the have nots and people of high status.”


However the Assistant IGP in charge of Human Rights and Legal Services, Erasmus Twarahukwa denied these claims and rather blamed the prolonged detentions to inadequate funding. This he said makes it impossible for police to conduct investigations efficiently and on time.

“Human rights violations by officers have reduced over the years. We have human rights officers in each region who check police lockups to establish those detained beyond the constitutional time. Our Professional Standards Unit (PSU) then tries the errant officers,” AIGP Twarahukwa added.

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