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International Anti-corruption Week (2015): Media Supplement

The Justice, Law and Order Sector (JLOS) has in place measures to eliminate abuse of office, acts of impunity and ensuring accountability and the rule of law. The JLOS chain-linked justice system is premised on the theory of the 3Cs; Cooperation, Communication and Coordination of initiatives. The chain-linked initiative involves shared roles in prevention, detection, investigation and reprimand of cases of corruption. 

All seventeen (17) JLOS member institutions fight syndicate corruption through institutionalising and implementing the Third JLOS Strategic Investment Plan (JLOS SIP III), the JLOS Anti-Corruption Strategy (JACS) and the National Anti-Corruption Strategies (NACS). 

The JACS is guided by a vision of “A corruption free Society based on rule of law and respect for human rights”, and a three core pillars that form the foundation and inform its strategic objectives. These include;

  1. PREVENTION; To enhance the Sector capacity to prevent corruption,
  2. DETECTION; To strengthen the Sector to detect, investigate, and adjudicate cases of corruption
  3. PUNISHMENT; To promote and enforce effective mechanisms for punishment of those found culpable and reparations for acts of corruption.

A number of administrative mechanisms are in place to promote accountability and fight corruption. These include the JLOS Inspectors Forum, the JLOS Integrity Committee, the JLOS Audit Committee, the Human Rights and Accountability Working Group, Professional Standards Unit (PSU) of Police, institutional staff disciplinary units, a series of toll free call lines and standardised complaints handling frameworks, among others. The public is invited to use toll free call lines and complaint boxes for all respective JLOS institutions and the Inspectorate of Government to report acts of corruption and abuse of office. For instance, the Judiciary has put up three SMS hotlines for the public to report acts of corruption and unprofessional conduct of staff; 0776 709100, 0703 707085  and 0794 702085. (See www.jlos.go.ug for more contacts), and the IG’s hotline is 0414 347 387.

Implementation of process and service delivery reforms, such as automation of business processes, have minimised opportunities for syndicate corruption at many service points such as the Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB). In addition, innovative justice initiatives aimed at simplification of processes and expedition of the adjudication of court cases. These have reduced opportunity for corruption. Innovations such as the Small Claims Procedure, Plea Bargain Initiative, Roll out of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) mechanisms, Legal Aid Service Provision, among others make justice a more transparent process. Users of court are able directly seek and handle their claims without relying in intercessors.

In 2014, the PSU received 1,958 complaints of professional misconduct of Police Officers. Minor cases are referred to RPCs, criminal cases are channeled to the DPP and CID, while cases requiring administrative disciplinary action are forwarded to the Directorate of Human Rights and Legal Advisory Services. The Police Disciplinary Unit awarded fines against 200 Traffic Police Officers, 37 officers were recommended for discharge/dismissal, 100 were acquitted, 142 sentenced to severe reprimand and 291 cases are still pending at the Unit as at June 2015.

In the previous year, the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) registered 137 complaints against judicial officers and concluded 106 case files. Out of18 disciplinary committee sessions held, 2 Magistrates were dismissed, 2 Magistrates severely reprimanded, 3 Magistrates were reprimanded and 1 Magistrate was warned. The other 98 cases did not demonstrate sufficient merit to warrant disciplinary action. The 174 cases are still pending before the JSC Disciplinary Committee. Similarly, the Judiciary’s Inspectorate of Courts received 676 complaints from the public against judicial officers and conclude 673. Most of the complaints were resolved administratively and 3 are still pending for further consideration.

The JLOS criminal justice system has progressively demonstrated impressive results. The Police/CID handled 458 corruption cases in 2014 compared to 413 and 214 in the previous two years respectively.

 

FIIVE TOP CORRUPTION OFFENCES HANDLED BY UGANDA POLICE FORCE/CID

Offence

2012

2013

2014

Abuse of office

40

88

36

Embezzlement 

59

212

254

Causing financial loss

90

84

77

Conflict of interest

01

3

0

Other corruption cases

24

26

91

Total

214

413

458

 

The DPP established the Anti-Corruption Department as a specialized body to handle prosecutions of corruption cases. In all corruption investigations, efforts to recover assets and proceeds of corruption are emphasized. Through Prosecution led investigations, and in collaboration with the CID, the Government Analytical Laboratory experts and the OAG, the average conviction rate for this calendar year, January 2015 to October 2015 is 62.5%. So far, 17 cases have been settled through Plea Bargaining Program for Corruption cases. A total of UGX674,652,552 and USD$102,000 has so far been recovered through Plea bargaining. 

In the same breadth, the Judiciary established a specialized anti-corruption court which has since its inception in August 2008 posted exemplary performance. As of 30th November 2015, the Anti-Corruption Court Division of the High Court (ACD) had registered 2,371 cases and completed 2080. It has recovered billions of shillings in over 100 cases where orders to refund proceeds of corruption have been made. Some of the major cases include the following;

 

CASES WHERE REFUND ORDERS WERE MADE BY ACD

 

Case

Amount to Refund

1

SC-24/13 Uganda vs Balikoowa Nixon & Orthers

3,366,926,390/=

2

SC -24/13 Uganda vs Wanyaka Samuel Huxley

822,965,000/=

3

SC-1254/08 Uganda vs Teddy Cheeye

100,000,000/=

4

SC-8/09 Uganda vs Okello B.S & 2 Others

400,000,000/=

5

SC-11/14 Uganda vs Adukun Grace

540,796,510/=

6

SC-08/14 Uganda vs Kalumba

300,000,000/=

7

SC-138/10 Uganda vs Odongo Christopher

118,424,000/=

8

SC-13/14 Uganda vs Hassan Degeya

109,000,000/=

9

SC-22/12 Uganda vs Kebba Isaac

£199,617

10

SC-47/12 Uganda vs J. Kashaka Muhanguzi & 5 Others

US$1,719,454.54

 

The disposal of cases by the Anti-Corruption Court Division of the High Court (ACD) during the FY2014/15 exceeded cases filed at a rate of 124% (309 of 249). This performance revealed an increase by 47.3% (127) from the previous financial year when it registered a completion rate of 76.7% (182). As at 30th June 2015, there were 286 cases pending in the court, and 28 (9.7%) of these cases are against JLOS officers. 

An elaborate legislative legal regime on Anti-Corruption laws and regulations is in place. This includes; the Anti-Corruption Act, the Penal Code Act, the Whistle Blowers Act, the Leadership Code Act, among others. Further legislative reforms and enactments are in pipeline aimed at complimenting and strengthening the existing legal regime. These include; the Witness Protection Law, the Asset Recovery and Mutual Assistance Law, Proceeds of Crime Law, Amendment to the Anti-Corruption Act, and Amendment to the Leadership Code Act, among others. 

There are various fora of interaction between JLOS service providers and users of JLOS services to build synergies against impediments such as syndicate corruption. There are place District Chain Linked Committees (DCCs) in all Districts, Regional Chain Linked Committees in all High Court Circuits and also institutional User Committees such as Court Users Committees in most JLOS institutions. The Justice, Law and Order Sector, appeals to the public to join the fight against corruption and report all acts of corruption.

The Justice, Law and Order Sector, therefore, appeals to the public join in the fight against corruption and report all incidents of corruption. This way, we shall promote accountability as a cornerstone for access to justice, the promotion of the rule of law and security of person and property.

 

Media inquiries on this subject can be sent to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

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 Anti-Corruption Week (2015): JLOS Media Supplement (pdf)