The Director of Public Prosecutions, Jane Frances Abodo has issued a strong warning to the criminals saying that even if it takes how long to have them arrested, they will have their day in Court.

Abodo said a criminal can run but cannot hide from prosecution. She noted that while investigations can take longer than expected, once narrowed down, an accused person will be arrested, and prosecuted, and that Prosecutors will always ask courts to give the highest punishments provided for in law.

Abodo was on Wednesday addressing journalists at her office in Kampala ahead of the 7th Joan Kagezi Namazzi Annual Memorial Lecture.

Kagezi was an Acting Assistant DPP who was assassinated in the line of duty on March 30th, 2015. She had worked as a Prosecutor for 23 years in various capacities by the time of her murder which took place in Kiwatule a Kampala Suburb.

It took the prosecutors and investigators eight years after her murder to arrest four suspected criminals concerning her murder which the State describes as an act of terrorism.

The suspects were arraigned before courts of law in November 2023. The public had almost lost hope that the suspects would be brought to book or arrested.

The suspects include Daniel Kisekka Kiwanuka, a peasant farmer,  John Kibuuka, also known as Musa, an inmate at Kigo prison, Nasur Abdallah Mugonole and John Masajjage, also known as Mubiru Brian or alias Badru or Chongo, both inmates at Kitalya Mini Maximum prison in Wakiso.

In response to the delay and whether those on remand are the real accused persons, Abodo indicated that when they investigate, they are neither desperate nor under pressure to arraign innocent people before the Court. 

She revealed that prosecutors do not work alone and that in this particular case, investigations were conducted by many security agencies. 

Abodo said that now that the criminals were already committed to the High Court for trial, she will adduce evidence case to show that even the public helped them out.

In March, 2024, the office of the DPP  informed the Nakawa Chief Magistrates Court that four suspects visited a Kayunga-based witch doctor to perform rituals to evade arrest and also to tie(delay)  the case proceedings.

This was revealed in the summary of the evidence submitted before the Court by the Assistant Director of Public Prosecutions,  Thomas Jatiko following the completion of investigations which have been ongoing for about nine years now.

Joan Kagezi Memorial Lecture will be held under the theme “Prosecution of Transnational Organized Crimes to Foster Security and Socio-Economic Development: The linkage between Terrorism, Human trafficking and Smuggling of Migrants.  It will take place in Kampala on April 25th 2024 at Kololo Independence Grounds .

The event will be preceded by the Annual Prosecutors Symposium which will also be held in Kampala.  

At the end of the day, the Prosecutors say they want to share experiences and best practices in investigating and prosecuting terrorism,  human trafficking, and migrant crimes.

The Chief Prosecutor Abodo said that next week as they are wiping their tears of losing Kagezi in the Lecture and also attending the Prosecutors Symposium, hearings of all criminal cases will not take place in the courts of law.

She said the Prosecutors Symposium will help them discuss ways on how they should move forward with the prosecution of cases in the 21st century where they are dealing with well-connected, wealthy, sophisticated and influential criminals where technology also keeps changing.

She said they will also be brainstorming on how to enforce the punishments provided for in law to build an economy free of impunity by criminals.

Abodo also explained that they will use the event to take stalk of what they have been doing and see what needs to be done differently and what should be embraced by the Prosecutors in the country.


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