Daniel Nemukuyu Senior Court Reporter—
Newly-appointed Prosecutor-General (PG)Advocate Ray Goba says his office intends to recruit 102 young lawyers to work as prosecutors, a development that should end the secondment of members of uniformed forces to the prosecution.The recruitment by the understaffed National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) will come with new conditions of service for degreed prosecutors in terms of NPA’s salary structure.
The authority will promote long-serving and hardworking prosecutors who were not being elevated over the years due to financial constraints. In an exclusive interview with The Herald yesterday, Adv Goba said his office this week got the green light to recruit young lawyers after Treasury officially approved an establishment of 417 lawyers for the NPA.
Previously, the NPA operated with 315 prosecutors, some of whom were non-degreed. “Treasury this week formally and officially approved our professional establishment of 417 prosecutors.
“We already had 315 prosecutors countrywide and this means we will now recruit 102 more. In terms of Section 9 of the NPA Act, we will recruit degreed staff only, who qualify to appear before any court of law,” said Adv Goba.
“Recruitment of the 102 is expected to be the answer to concerns raised by many people of police, army and prison service prosecutors. We will be able to recruit young lawyers who are currently unemployed and make the conditions attractive to retain them,” he said.
Adv Goba said the NPA would also recruit 55 civilian professionals for its administration to reduce the number of personnel seconded from the uniformed agencies.
“We will also recruit professionals in the areas of human resources, finance, administration and others. Once we are done with this, the NPA will be completely a civilian service,” said Adv Goba.
The PG said his office will try to boost the morale of long serving, hardworking and loyal prosecutors through promotions. “Some people have not been promoted for years despite working hard and serving with distinction. We will upgrade them as a way of boosting their morale. We will do that through performance appraisals,” he said.
Adv Goba defended the secondment of the military staff to the NPA’s secretariat during the transitional period saying it was necessary. “We have not had problems with the members seconded from the military forces to the NPA. They came here to assist the NPA because it did not have personnel to run the administration considering it only consisted of lawyers.
“When the NPA was established, Government had no funds to recruit civilians hence we were bailed out by the military who seconded their professionals here. “Some are even assisting us in the prosecution section due to the shortage in that area. The officers are well-disciplined and are doing well,” said Adv Goba.
The PG said the NPA board would soon convene to deliberate on how best the recruitment of the 157 staff would be done.
He said the new recruits would be spread across the NPA’s 55 stations countrywide.