Principal Judge, Dr Yorokamu Bamwine, has promised to pluck out all members who are tarnishing the image of the judiciary.
Bamwine was Tuesday addressing inmates of Malukhu Prison in Mbale district where he launched the Plea Bargaining Programme.
Flanked by the Director of Public Prosecutions [DPP], Justice Mike Chibita, Bamwine said government and the Judiciary are concerned about the plight of untried prisoners in the Uganda Prisons.
“In Judiciary, we have a new product called Plea Bargaining and we are to promote it,“ he announced, noting that the problem with most Ugandans is that they don’t want to admit their wrongs.
“When you admit your wrong, the truth will set you free. Approach the one you wronged and say sorry.”
He added: “When you leave prison under Plea Bargaining, make sure you don’t commit another offense. U will not be eligible.”
Noting that God hates lies, Bamwine urged citizens not to chock on a lie but admit their offences and say sorry.
This Financial Year alone, judiciary hopes to hold 70 criminal sessions to clear 2,800 cases.
Two criminal sessions are planned for Mbale before the end of 2016.
These will be in addition to over 100 inmates who want to plead guilty.
“Severity of sentence after a Plea Bargaining will also depend on your conduct. When you kill a human being, don’t think you have just killed a rat. Don’t expect a light sentence in court, even under Plea Bargaining.”
Bamwine explained that Plea Bargaining is available even to petty offenders calling on prosecutors to take note of this and let people get out of prison.
He said judges should always deduct periods that convicts spend on remand.
“The OC Prisons have no right to make such deductions. We are urging the judges to respect the sentences that have been bargained.”
He urged judges to resist the temptations of lowering or increasing sentences.
He noted that although the judiciary may be underfunded and has a few judges, that shouldn’t result into unreasonably lenient sentences.
Bamwine revealed that United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund [UNICEF] has already bankrolled the Audiovisual Link Installation in Ugandan Courts, adding that giving evidence to court through Audiovisual Link will end secondary victimisation in sexual offenses.
“Audiovisual Link system is now installed at the High Court in Kampala, Mbale, Fort Portal, Soroti, and will be extended elsewhere soon.”
“The Judiciary is no longer what it used to be. People tarnishing the image of this institution will soon be plucked out.”