Time is up for criminals and errant Police officials who misplace case files to evade prosecution, following the launching of an online tracking system by the Directorate of Public Prosecutions.
By Francis Kagolo and David Lukiiza
Time is up for criminals and errant Police officials who misplace case files to evade prosecution, following the launching of an online tracking system by the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP).
The web-based software will also enable state attorneys and other DPP staff to track exhibits and other forms of evidence to avert their misplacement that usually leads to loss of cases.
"This means we will be more efficient in dealing with criminals. Those dealing in crime should stand warned that the DPP is going hi-tech in fighting them and we shall defeat them," the DPP, Mike Chibita, said.
"With this software we will be viewing all case files online from wherever we are. We shall not have to call anyone to deliver the file physically. This is what was causing delays and misplacement of exhibits."
He was speaking at the launch of the computerized prosecution case management system at the DPP's offices in Kampala yesterday (Tuesday).
The software was built by i-Justice, a US-based information technology company, at a cost of $1.5m (about sh4.2b).
For a long time the office of the DPP has been blamed for widespread misallocation of criminal case files and other documents as well as sluggish management of cases.
Chibita attributed the problem to the fact that many prosecutors had to spend valuable time tracking information already stored somewhere else.
He explained that previously, he has had to order for physical delivery of case files from various parts of the country to the headquarters, meaning that chances were high for some documents or an entire file to get lost along the way.
"We depend on exhibits like medical forms to successfully prosecute the offenders but some of them would disappear from the files. We shall now computerize all the information and guarantee its accuracy and integrity," Chibita said.
The software will also provide charge-sheet reports and reports on the most wanted criminals' records, attorney workload reports and also upload criminals' photos and scanned documents.
Michael Locascio, the founder and managing director of i-Justice, said the online software will also help prosecutors to track the criminal history of any offender, their address and fake names.
He said the system will be installed with strong security measures to avert hackers.
The DPP is the latest public agency to computerize its operations, after government approved the use of ICT to drive the country's economic development to middle-income status forecasted in Vision 2040.
DPP goes hi-tech, warns criminals