Deputy Chief Justice (DCJ) Richard Buteera has asked the government to recruit more staff in the police’s Criminal Investigations Department (CID) to expedite the investigation of cases.
He attributed the case backlog to skeleton staff at CID, whom he said cannot investigate all the cases on time.
“ The Criminal Investigations Department is understaffed, the training is not probably at the level that we desire. We need to increase training of CID officers, their numbers, coordinate CID with the DPP’s office so that prosecutions are quick to do quality work so that the courts get the ability to dispose of the cases quickly,” he said.
He also appealed to government to train the police officers about their roles and limits in execution of their duty.
Justice Buteera, who was meeting judicial officers at Mbarara High Court circuit on Tuesday, said limited manpower does not only affect Judiciary in the expeditious handling of cases but also investigators.
Justice Buteera also said there must be public participation if case backlog in the country is be reduced.
“The public needs to be aware that courts are not going to decide cases until witnesses come to court when summoned. So we all must participate because justice is to the benefit of the whole society not to the Judiciary, DPP or the court alone,” he said.
The deputy chief justice also said President Museveni’s proposal to deny capital offenders bail is a matter of Parliament to decide and they can only participate as Judiciary by giving their views when approached.
“President said this is a matter that shall be discussed by different stakeholders. By the stakeholders, I understand Parliament, the Executive and the Judiciary. We shall give our views, Parliament shall discuss the issues and an agreement on what the law should be, shall be reached,” he said.
He added: “It is normally the duty of Parliament to amend the laws, including the Constitution, and that discussion shall guide us and the new law that is put in place shall be implemented by the Judiciary after it has been passed. For now the law is as it is, we have the Constitution as it is, and we await the amendment when it happens.”
The resident judge of Mbarara High Court Circuit, Joyce Kavuma, told the deputy chief justice that they have a backlog of 1,688 cases and asked for more judges to dispose of cases.
Justice Buteera said the government has increased funding to the Judiciary, which will allow them to recruit more staff to reduce the case backlog.
“The funding has been increased from Shs180b to Shs330b and the manpower growth has been approved,” he said.
“Parliament shall allocate resources for the implementation of the work plan and I think with that plan, the cases will be disposed of expeditiously and the population shall feel the impact,” he added.
Justice Buteera said this financial year, they hope to recruit 14 more judges.
He said to reduce case backlog in the country, the Judiciary plans to recruit a chief magistrate for every district and a magistrate in every sub-county.