The Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP) is set to close upcountry offices due to unprecedented staff shortage, Mike Chibita, the Director of Public Prosecution has said.
Appearing before the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee to defend the DPP’s policy statement of 2018/2019 budget on Monday, Chibita said the Directorate is grappling with a shortage of 600 staff in their upcountry offices.
He revealed that Public Service Ministry has already notified them that there’s no money for recruitment of new staff, a move that is likely to leave many suspects languishing in prisons.
“I have been getting requests from Members of Parliament about opening offices in their districts. We don’t have staff to post to any new stations; in fact, under the current constraint, we want to close offices because we don’t have staff so we can’t open any new office unless we are adequately staffed,” Chibita said.
DPP said that the institution has no presence in 23 districts, with his presence only registered in 98.
However, the latest information indicates that the creation of new districts that has increased the total number to 121 has left 40 districts without DPP presence.
Meanwhile, the DPP is grappling with a funding gap of Shs48.8bn in the 2018/2019 budget, with implementation of the new structure accounting for about Shs9bn.
The Directorate is also looking for Shs1.5bn to clear the case backlog, after the Ministry of Finance only provided a budget of Shs800M, despite the institution requesting for Shs2.3bn.
The institution is also short by Shs2.7bn to be used for criminal prosecution that will involve conducting pre-trial witness interviews, prosecution of serious criminal offences as well as facilitating gender based violence.