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Police Appeals For More Gov’t Funding In DNA Analysis

Police Appeals For More Gov’t Funding In DNA Analysis

The head of DNA and Serology in the Police, ASP Lilian Doris Mutesi has appealed to the government to allocate more resources to Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) analysis. She made the request at a two-day workshop involving key players and partners in the justice system. This had prosecutors, prisons, police, judicial officers, and the UNFPA. They met to assess their performance in handling Sex and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) cases. And also explore ways to enhance their efforts in the upcoming phase.

Mutesi emphasized that securing witnesses for court testimonies often proves challenging. DNA evidence, therefore, stands as a crucial means to incriminate perpetrators. However, the high costs associated with DNA analysis present a significant barrier. A single DNA sample test costs Shillings 400,000 and to ensure conclusive and reliable results, multiple samples are required, leading to an approximate cost of Shillings 2 million.

In light of these financial constraints, Mutesi urged the government to invest more in DNA analysis. This will help to facilitate the acquisition of vital evidence for SGBV cases.

She also highlighted the need for public sensitization on managing evidence effectively. Mutesi shared instances where rape or defilement cases were reported days after the incident, compromising the quality of evidence.

Furthermore, she recommended that investigators discontinue the collection of vaginal swabs on cotton wool due to challenges in analyzing them at the Forensics Laboratory.

She also stressed the importance of timely response by the scene of crime officers. This is because, a delay in collecting DNA evidence can result in degraded quality. To improve the handling of SGBV cases, Mutesi emphasized the importance of training for both police and judicial officers.

Director of Forensics in the Uganda Police Force, Andrew Kizumula Mubiru, supported Mutesi’s plea. He highlighted the need for proper collection and preservation of evidence. He emphasized that the Forensics Laboratory relies on the samples collected, and if the evidence obtained is of poor quality, it affects the results.

Mubiru called for expedited handling of SGBV cases and proposed digitizing crime scenes for more efficient investigations.

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