Delay in resolving the murder case of former Deputy Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Joan Kagezi has led Members of Parliament (MPs) to question the competence of the office of the DPP.
Kagezi was gunned down by unknown assailants on 30 March 2015 in Kiwatule, a Kampala suburb on her way home.
The Deputy DPP, John Baptist Asiimwe told the Committee on Human Rights on Wednesday, 05 July 2023 that investigations commenced immediately after the murder and several arrests were made based on suspicion.
“All suspects were eventually released as there was no sufficient evidence to warrant their prosecution,” he said.
Asiimwe said that in November 2022, a new team of investigators was set up at the Criminal Investigations Department headquarters.
“Most of the investigative work has already been concluded. The only aspect remaining unresolved is the identity of the perpetrators. This inquiry is with a view of getting the perpetrators,” he said.
Officials of the Directorate of Public Prosecution appearing before the committee
The Deputy DPP added that efforts are underway to request for extradition of a suspect strongly linked to the offence, from Europe to Uganda.
“This individual had previously been indicted for murder on a different case and committed to High Court. He was, however, released on bail by the High Court, which he jumped and is believed to be in Europe. These efforts will continue until the responsible perpetrators are apprehended and brought to book,” said Asiimwe.
Committee Chairperson, Hon. Fox Odoi Oywelowo however, expressed disappointment with the slow progress in resolving the murder case and advised the DPP to involve international partners.
“We gave you six months and we told you that these murderers must be caught at all costs. We will not take these answers lying low. We need accountability, if we cannot resolve one murder, tomorrow we shall have two, then three. They will escalate,” said Odoi Oywelowo.
Hon. Geoffrey Okello (DP, Nwoya East) urged the DPP to make a public appeal in identification of the suspects, as one of the methods of resolving such murders.
“These murders are not perpetrated by one person. Make a public appeal with a cash reward; there could be a possibility of apprehending the criminals,” Okello said.
Deputy Attorney General, Hon. Jackson Kafuuzi also appeared before the committee
Sironko District Woman MP, Hon. Florence Nambozo said that failure by the DPP to resolve high-profile murders has made the population lose confidence in the Office of the DPP.
“We cannot believe that to date, you do not have leads on these murders. We feel you are handling some of the hard-core criminals with gloves,” she said.
Hon. Baatom Ben Koryang (NRM, Dodoth East County) said that the DPP’s response on the high profile murder cases is wanting and inadequate.
“It looks like when there is a high-profile murder, you rush to make arrests just to show people that you are working,” said Koryang.
On 29 July 2022, the Committee on Human Rights instructed the DPP to conduct a prosecution-led investigation into the high-profile murders that took place in the country.