High Court orders Government to honour pledge to increase Prosecutors’ salaries, better their work conditions

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The High Court has ordered the Government of Uganda to honour its promises to increase Prosecutors’ salaries and to better their work conditions.

Justice Musa Ssekaana found Friday in the case filed with the Court by the Uganda Association of Prosecutors and one Baston Baguma that the government was in breach of a commitment letter signed in 2017 between the association and the Government.

Under the letter signed at the height of a sit down strike by the prosecutors who are responsible for handling the State’s criminal cases, government undertook to increase salaries of the prosecutors, waive tax on their salaries, provide professional and responsibility allowances and fast track the passing of the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions Bill (ODPP Bill) within a period of 90 days. However, this hasn’t been implemented to date.

” The Applicants expected to have the contents of the letter fulfilled within the 90 days period from its signing since it was clearly promised in the contract. Any intended frustration of the legitimate expectation had to be explained through a hearing or a meaningful engagement.” Mr. Justice Ssekaana ruled.

” Public authority or officers should normally be required to stand by their word such that the public who deal with them will reciprocate by complying with the authority. Whenever they disregard their commitments, promises and representations made to the citizenry, it would bring about unpredictability and loss of trust in the office/officer which is inimical to the rule of law. ” He said, imploring the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs to ensure the Government fulfills its commitments.

 

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