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The Court Of Appeal Discusses Neglect Of Duty And Whether It Is A Strict Liability Offence

In The Case Of Mugisha V Uganda (Criminal Appeal No. 104 Of 2011) 

CORAM: JJA CHEBORION BARISHAKI, HELLEN OBURA , STEVEN MUSOTA

This case was decided on 17th June 2019 in the Court of Appeal.

This case discusses neglect of duty and whether it is a strict liability offence.

This was an appeal against conviction and sentence of the high court under the anti- corruption division at kampala by Hon. Catherine Bamugemereire.

The background of this case is that the police standards unit received a complaint concerning a US treasury cheque of the face value of $114300.79 in the names of Nyakundi Bayes, which had primarily been recovered by the financial fraud unit headed by the appellant. The complaint was that the cheque had been cashed in Nairobi on 14th june 2010 when the police standards unit immediately set out to investigate the said complaint. When the appellant was asked about the whereabouts of the cheque, he led his superiors to his office where he handed them a polythene bag with some items including the said cheque. The cheque was found to be false and with no cancelled stamp. The appellant was thereafter arrested and charged with neglect of duty contrary to S. 2() of the Anti-Corruption Act.

The judges held that a police officer is guilty of neglect of duty if he/she omits to make any necessary entry in any official book or document or omits to make or send any report or return which is within his/her line of duty to make or send.