The parliamentary committee on defense and internal affairs has recommended that the Directorate of Government Analytical Laboratory (DGAL) equips the existing regional laboratories with the requisite equipment as opposed to constructing new structures.
While on a field visit to eastern Uganda, the members led by chairperson, Mityana Woman MP Judith Nabakooba, noted that despite the completion of the forensic laboratories in Mbale, Mbarara and Moroto in 2014, the said laboratories have not been fully operationalized due to lack of funding.
DGAL provides a full range of general scientific analytical, forensic and advisory services that facilitate effective legal proceedings to dispense justice, safeguard public and environmental health and safety, as well as promote trade.
Meanwhile, in a report the committee members also noted that despite President Yoweri Museveni directing the funding of DGAL in 2016, there has been no funding effected. The members also noted that DGAL is understaffed, with only 50 out of 124 staff it is supposed to have countrywide, affecting its overall operations.
And, according to the committee members, the current case backlog stands at 5,556 criminal cases, 1,524 DNA cases and 3,292 toxicological cases.
“DGAL is still unable to reduce case backlog which negatively impacts the administration of justice,” part of the report reads.
They also noted that government should sponsor the upgrade of DGAL staff through trainings in developed countries where technology has advanced.
“As technology advances, criminals are also advancing their tactics; thus calling for urgency in adapting to the different modern sophisticated methods to match the increasing sophistication in crime,” the report adds.