In 2017 alone, 4,473 cases of murder reported in Uganda, compared to 4,315 cases in 2016, representing 3.7 per cent surge in homicide. This is according to the 23rd Annual Justice Law and Order Sector (JLOS) Performance report.
The report released on Thursday cites murder of many women in Wakiso District and other parts of the country and cases of kidnap. A total of 252,065 criminal cases were reported to police in 2017 compared to 243,988 in 2016, an increase of more than 8,000.
Case backlog in courts of law has reduced by 3 percent in the last one year. The case backlog reduced from 24 percent in 2017 to 21 percent this year.
The report which was launched at the Law Development Center in Kampala shows that reduction of the case backlog was as a result of the Case Backlog Reduction Strategy. The strategy involved implementation of mediation, plea bargaining, and small claims procedure.
According to the report, without the strategy, the backlog would have been at 38 percent at the moment.
Speaking to journalists at the launch of the report, the Chief Justice Bart Katureebe said that they need about seven years to finish up the current backlog in the judiciary. He noted that as Judiciary, they still have a problem of insufficient manpower, which affects case backlog.
The Chief Justice has said recent torture incidents before and during the parliamentary by-elections in Arua Municipality and other places have portrayed the justice sector negatively and that efforts must be made to stop the vice.
“It is important that we stand firm as a Sector and reiterate our stand against torture and all forms of cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment and emphasize that individuals should be held accountable for any acts of torture that they perpetuate,” Justice Katureebe said.
The Chief Justice said the current prison population about 52,000 inmates but the holding capacity stands at 18,000.
“Congestion is still high. However, there are other efforts to reduce the prison population pressure such as improved investigations, strengthened prosecution and enhanced case disposal,” he noted.