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Human Rights Activists want Oversight Body for DPP

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Civil society organizations in Lira district have asked Government to create an oversight body that will extra checks on the operations of the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP).
During a meeting at Garden Inn Hotel in Lira, the civil society organizations that included Save the Children Uganda, Facilitation for Peace and Development, Action Aid and the Uganda Child Rights Organization said corruption and delays in the delivery of justice in the DPP's office were rampant because of the lack of sufficient checks and balances. The organizations, together with officials from the district probation, social welfare and community development departments, said an independent oversight body would support the work of the Inspector General of Government in ensuring transparency in the justice system.
Elizabeth Akullo, legal officer at Facilitation for Peace and Development, cited an example in which a primary school teacher in Apac who was accused of defilement was released after allegedly bribing lawyers from the DPP's office. She said when he returned home, the teacher was lynched by a mob that was angered by his release.
Jonathan Odur from Action Aid said the oversight body would help to investigate cases like one in Lira in which an employee of the electricity distribution company, Umeme, was released under unclear circumstances despite being charged with incest and rape. Odur said the suspect, Vincent Oryema, bribed a Resident District Attorney to go scotch free.
The civil society organizations plan to send their resolution for a DPP oversight body to Government and to lobby parliament for its establishment.