I want integrity and ethics, says DPP Chibita [Daily Monitor, The (Uganda)]
(Daily Monitor, The (Uganda) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Start of a journey. The new government prosecutor says he dreams of a transformed directorate in two years time; one which inspires confidence in the rule of law and helped reduce the level of lawlessness in the country. Sunday Monitor's Anthony Wesaka caught up with him.
1. What new ideas and policies are you bringing as you assume the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions?Maybe not new ideas and policies but I will emphasise integrity, work ethic and promotion of information technology. 2. The opposition always criticised the former DPP Richard Buteera for being used by his superiors to fight them... Whether these allegations were true or not, as you assume work, will you dance to the tunes of your appointing authority or you will stand your ground and act professionally?I would imagine that more than anybody else the appointing authority would be interested in respect for the rule of law and promotion of observation of law and order. The rest of the question is speculation which I cannot be party to.
3. As you assume office, the case backlog stands at 63,318. This is partly due to this office having been vacant for about three months. What mechanisms are you going to use to minimise the backlog?We are going to expedite the process on our part hence emphasis on staff work ethic and zero tolerance to corruption. We shall also engage other stakeholders to ensure that we jointly move the process forward. 4. Will you apply for leave without pay as you take on this job since you are still a serving judicial officer? There are experts in this area whose job is to handle that aspect. I will act in accordance with their expert advice.
5. You take over office when the Judiciary is under heavy criticism over alleged capture by the Executive. As chief government prosecutor: Do you think the criticism is justified?
I have no experience with that allegation so I cannot comment on it.
Secondly, you have worked as a legal adviser to the President, how will you deal with concerns that your appointment is simply to propagate the President's partisan political interests rather than justice for Ugandans and adequate representation of government? My record speaks for itself. Parliament overwhelmingly approved my nomination. I doubt that there is a basis for that concern. In any case, if the President is interested in law and order, which I know he does, I don't see any problem with agreeing with him on that agenda. 6. Is it a standard practice for a high court judge to be appointed a DPP, you being only the second to experience such a move since 1952?
Standard practice? Maybe not. But it happens.7. What do you project the office of the DPP to be like in 10 years time? Ten years can be a long time. I dream of a transformed directorate in two years' time. An autonomous entity that will have raised the conviction rate, inspired confidence in the rule of law and helped reduce the level of lawlessness in the country.
DPP's short term work plans-Inculcate integrity and work ethic in staff-Pursue DPP Autonomy Bill-Step up its functions and computers per staff-Establish a victims' rights desk-Prioritise prosecution of major offenses; corruption, murder and defilement-Oppose bail for major offenses on appeal-Establish HIV status of victims of defilement-Step up inspection of regional offices. His long-term work plans-Establish commission for victims' rights-Pursue passage of DPP Autonomy Bill-Engage staff terms and conditions of service-Increase penalty
About the new Director of Public Prosecutions
Last Monday, the new Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Mr Mike Chibita, officially reported for duty, two months after he was approved by Parliament.
So who is this new chief government prosecutor?Mr Chibita is a lawyer by profession. He was born on April 30, 1963 to Clement and Edisa Duallo of Buwesa village in Butaleja District in eastern Uganda. He is married to Monica Chibita and together have five children.
Prior to assuming the office, Mr Chibita was a judge attached to Masaka High Court. About two years ago, he hit the headlines as a judge who conducted a re-trial of city businessman Godfrey Kato Kajubi, convicted and sentenced him to life imprisonment over child sacrificeMr Chibita went through Kings College Budo for the whole of his secondary education. This was between 1979 and 1985.
The 50-year-old began his education at Buwesa Primary School in Butaleja, where he completed his lower primary education in 1978.
Mr Chibita joined Makerere University in mid 1980s and pursued a Bachelor's Degree in Law. Later, he joined the Law Development Centre for his post-graduate diploma in legal practice in 1989 before pursuing a Masters degree in Law from the University of Iowa in the United States.
The new DPP began his career as a lecturer of International Relations and African History in the North Western College, St Paul, MN in the United States of America.
A year later, he was recruited as a State Attorney in the Attorney General's chambers, where he was also attached to the Constituent Assembly for election petitions purposes.
Between 1995 and 1996, he worked as personal/ legal assistant to the Attorney General and at the same time, attached to the Department of Litigation where he was actively involved in civil litigation.Mr Chibita is also well known for having successfully represented the Attorney General in the land mark case of Susan Kigula and 416 others who were seeking constitutional validity of death sentence.
He also had a privilege of working in State House as a Private Secretary in-charge of Legal Affairs for about seven years.
His major duties under this docket included; handling all legal matters at State House and liaising with the Attorney General's chambers, Parliament and the courts. During the same period, he also acted as the Principal Private Secretary to the President.
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