The office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) is charged with the cardinal duty of prosecuting criminals, ideally.
But, for a long time now, the all-important office has been earning infamy for caressing mafias! Excuse the pun!
The no-nonsense Justice John Bosco Katutsi took offence regarding the manner in which the DPP is romancing the Mafios. The judge in no uncertain terms roundly condemned the DPP’s office for taking mukene(small time criminals) to court for prosecution while sparing the Nile perch (Big time mafias).
“Am fed up with tryingmukene. You should start bringing the Nile perch as well”, Katutsi angrily remarked in the past. He was convicting some small guys who had stolen government funds. These are not nice compliments by all means. They mirror an office which is degenerating. Strikingly, the DPP has also been chided for taking over private cases against big guys before controversially dropping them.
Our own CEO, Stanley Ndawula is crying foul currently. This, after the current DPP, Jane Francis Abodo secretly closed a criminal case he had filed against businessman Sudhir Ruparelia, over the letters alleged hacking into his social media accounts.
This website ran the disturbing story of the DPP’s secret discontinuation of the case. This is after Ndawula had petitioned the DPP over her choice to drop Sudhir off the chargesheet and instead sanctioned his agents Ashberg Katto and Ussa Ssegawa to the dock. Ndawula suspects money changed hands before the DPP closed the matter because he had collected overwhelming evidence to nail Sudhir.
According to Ndawula, Sudhir possibly threw some money at the DPP herself or her people who closed the file quietly hoping he was going to take it lying down.
He justifies his suspicion by pointing out the fact that Sudhir in the past wired a big bribe to the account of the former ISO director, Maj Gen Jim Muhwezi in order to kill a case. Ndawula is referring to the money laundering scandal which saw Sudhir doing some good months at the University of Understanding in Luzira.
Sudhir is said to have wired the money into Muhwezi’s wife account then held at the now defunct Nile Bank. The complainant, Stanley Ndawula learned of the closure of his case from the police investigating officers, days after the fact.
Abodo, after closing the file, went completely mute. She didn’t have the courtesy of, by the way, informing Ndawula’s lawyers who had kept asking her about the progress of the investigation let alone the complainant himself.
Ndawula was quoted in the story warning of an elephant currently roaming freely inside the temple of justice. He vowed to expose the elephant for the general good because, according to him, it is posing a grave danger to fairness and justice as it is known in the realm of rule of law.
Ndawula surprisingly mentions the DPP as the elephant he is talking about. He reasons since the DPP has chosen to neglect her duty, he has no choice, but to put the evidence in the file involving Sudhir to the court of public opinion.
Just don’t think yet that Ndawula is turning personal and emotional because Abodo closed his case. Not at all. The veteran investigative journalist wouldn’t be the first and last person to complain about the DPP’s modus operandi.
The president, foreign diplomats, judges, fellow lawyers, religious leaders, politicians and majority of Ugandans have been complaining throughout about the injustice in the DPP’s office. So much so that majority of Ugandans have lost confidence in the sincerity of the DPP in as far as fighting crime is concerned.
If the DPP is not joining criminal cases filed by private individuals with a view of dropping them, delaying hearing of cases and disappearing case files, the office holders and her charges are busy cutting deals with criminals to secretly help to drop cases against them.
Don’t you remember the latest one caught red handed demanding for the UGX1.5m bribe to kill a defilement case!
The DPP has also been cited in sanctioning bogus criminal cases. Justice Katutsi is still the man who shocked the world when he dismissed the DPP’s office as a clearing house for bogus cases. Katutsi was dismissing Kyakuwa’s rape charges against Dr. Warren Kiiza Kifeefe Besigye.
The good Judge asserted the charges had been manufactured in State House and cleared by the DPP to block Dr. Besigye from running for the biggest office in the land.
You can take Male Mabirizi Kiwanuka for a joker, if you want, when he says the DPP takes over criminal cases from private prosecutors with a hidden motive of dropping them. But the DPP has been taking over such many cases and doing what Mabirizi accuses the chief prosecutor of doing.
Much as the DPP takes over private cases promising to prosecute them, the principal public prosecutor has been dropping them all without even rendering justification for doing so.
The DPP to that extent therefore appears to be the law and the law herself, thanks to the Constitution which gives her such leverage that she often abuses, knowing she can’t be questioned by anyone. Watch this space…
- Mr. Stephen Kasozi Muwambi is a seasoned crime investigative writer, majoring in judicial-based stories. His two decades’ experience as a senior investigative journalist has made him one of the best to reckon on in Uganda. He can also be reached via [email protected]
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