Mukono- The Inspector General of Police Gen. Kale Kayihura has advised district police commanders to devise means of getting extra fuel and fee maintenance to ease work as fuel crisis hits the force hard.
Gen Kayihura said on Saturday at the Uganda Christian University while launching physical fitness day for police and crime preventers where he led police together with crime preventers in a 14-km Marathon around Mukono town.
“DPCs should mobilise for fuel and maintenance of cars because our funds are not enough so as to reduce on crime rates,” Gen Kayihura said.
This comes just days after it emerged that the force which he heads is battling fuel scarcity.
It was revealed that the fuel scarcity followed a decision by oil companies Total and Shell to halt fuel supply due to debts the force has failed to clear.
Police approximately uses 29.8 million litres of diesel and petrol annually without considering fuel used for special operations.
The fuel, which costs more than Shs100 billion, is paid for in four installments.
According to the IGP, police fuel budget was reduced by 50 percent compared to the work load.
He advised DPCs to liaise with communities, district leaders and UCU to provide extra fuel.
“Help us in terms of resources because our budget was cut, we have given you the patrol cars and motorcycles then facilitate us,” Gen Kayihura said.
He also advised DPCs to build sub-county police units because he is going to build Naguru police headquarters.
“We want to have a crime free society, so mobilise these crime preventers and friends so that you put up police unities at sub-county levels,” Gen Kayihura said.
He advised crime preventers to equip themselves with taekwondo skills to use against criminals instead of cowering.
“Some crime preventers are weak and that’s why criminals tend to be stronger than them so such an exercise can help them gain energy,” he said.
The IGP promised crime preventers free smart phones to ease their communication as a way to reduce crimes.
How police is feeling fuel scarcity squeeze
The fuel scarcity has affected police operations and movements over the last two weeks.
Currently, police is finding a challenge to transport personnel from their residence to workstations especially in Kampala Metropolitan area.
It has also impacted on the movement of both the commanders and their junior officers to emergency areas.
During the 2016 general elections, the olice fuel consumption multiplied three fold.
It was revealed that police diverted all funds in the first quarter release for this financial year to try and clear outstanding debts from the election period leaving a balance of Shs27 billion plus a debt of approximately Shs17 billion for the first quarter.
Internal Affairs Minister Gen Jeje Odong recently said the fuel crisis is normal and will be resolved soon. He said it is his responsibility to work with other departments of government and Parliament to see how they can find resources to assist the police to perform their duties.
Police receives fuel from Shell and Total pump stations in a partnership that has lasted for over ten years.
While directors, commissioners and other senior officers get fuel using fuel cards, police drivers and bikers get fuel from police reserves that are filled daily by Shell and Total suppliers.