The Inspector General of Police, Mr Martins Okoth-Ochola, has ordered the director of Legal Services and Human Rights, Mr Erasmus Twaruhukwa, to study President Museveni’s order on stopping police bond to suspects in capital offences and theft of livestock.
Mr Twaruhukwa will also analyse Mr Museveni’s suggestion on court bail and expediting the trial of capital offenders.
The police spokesperson, Mr Fred Enanga, said after the analysis on the two orders, the police will discuss with their partners under the Justice Law and Order Sector (JLOS) on how to implement the President’s order.
“The study on the orders has already started. The implementation involves so many stakeholders in the law and order sector. After our input, we shall share with the public the details,” Mr Enanga said yesterday. On Friday, the President ordered police to stop issuing bond to suspects on capital offences and those involved in theft of livestock.
Mr Museveni also said those accused of riots and economic subversion should not be given bail.
The Constitution allows the granting of police release bond to suspects after they have been held for more than 48 hours. Bail is a right, according to the Constitution. President Museveni’s orders have financial consequences to all the members of JLOS.
In the 2021/2022 police budget, the Crime Investigations, Forensics and Canine Services were given Shs48.9b to investigate all criminal cases. The Shs48.9b is just half of what the police needs to investigate 40,000 capital offences that it registers annually. “With the current operational funding of Shs21.5 billion for investigation and intelligence gathering, the CID can conclusively investigate 10,257 cases at an average of Shs2.1m per case of the 100,000 (40,000 serious crimes and 60,000 misdemeanor) cases recorded annually,” the police budget report for this financial year indicates.
“This means of the 40,000 capital offences, the CID requires on average of Shs84b to facilitate quality investigations. With the limited funds for investigations, there has been a buildup of 105,017 backlog cases, which requires an amount of Shs220b to clear,” the report adds.
During the release of the Crime and Traffic Safety Report of 2020, the director of Criminal Investigations, Ms Grace Akullo, said there was a delay of expert reports to help the Director of Public Prosecutions form an opinion on criminal cases. “Some of our detectives couldn’t reach the witnesses because of challenges of transport. Most witnesses had to travel by public means, which were under lockdown last year,” she said. Last year, the State was only to secure nine percent convictions of the total cases registered in the same period.
Ms Akullo said the funding gap and shortage of manpower within the police and their partners in the criminal justice system are some of the major challenges hindering their abilities.
“The current strength of CID personnel is only 5,292 instead of the approved 19,843 leading to work overload. The UN standard is 1:12 cases per detective per year. The workload stands at 45 case files per detective. In areas with high crime rate such as Kampala Metropolitan policing areas, detectives have between 50 and 70 case files per year,” she said, adding that 73 courts don’t have full-time prosecutors to handle cases.