Over 400 state attorneys are threatening to lay down their tools in a move that will paralyse the judicial process in the country if government doesn’t raise their salaries or waive tax from their income.
State attorneys represent the state in court trials. Without state attorneys, no trial can take place in court, as they provide the link between the investigating and judges. The state attorneys, who work under the Director of Public Prosecutions office, prosecute the offenders on behalf of government.
“Attorneys have for so long complained of meagre wages. We work under difficult circumstances and at times face death threats, some of which have materialised like the late Joan Kagezi who was murdered. However, government has remained indifferent to our plight,” said a source who requested anonymity.
“Sweepers and tea girls in authorities like UNRA, KCCA and NEMA are paid more than us who are at the frontline of prosecuting terrorists, murders and the corrupt,” our source said.
The state attorneys are also unhappy with the fact they are the only group in the justice sector who pay taxes.
“Our colleagues in police, judiciary and prisons don’t pay taxes. But our salaries are taxed, which is discriminatory since we are in the same line of work, and offering service to government,” our source said.
This matter that will be addressed by the executive meeting of the Uganda Association of Prosecutors (UAP), a body that brings together all public prosecutors that work under the DPP when they meet on June 17.