People in the chain of justice

In this part of our series on the justice system, we take a look into the lives of people who have worked tirelessly to make it possible that justice is served at any level.

Wednesday May 21 2014

ASP Patrick Jimmy Okena

ASP Patrick Jimmy Okena 

By Betty Ndagire, Julius Ocungi & Anthony Wesaka

In our justice campaign series, we now bring you the typical day of various players in the justice system; a police officer, a prison warden, a public prosecutor and an advocate.

This is intended to bring you an insight of what a typical day in the life of these men and women in the justice system is. A section of the public looks at say a judge, magistrate as being semi demi-gods who don’t even do their personal cleaning thinking that everything is just done for them.

In this piece, learn that these men and women, whom we usually see donned in uniform, suits, sometimes robbed in legal clothes; go about their daily routine of work from morning when they wake up till that time when they retire home just like other human beings.


My day begins at 5am. I wake up, say a short prayer and do some exercises for 15 minutes before taking a bath.
At 6:15, I tune BBC for news updates for 30 minutes, dress and at exactly 7am I take my breakfast.

My workday starts at 8:30am with making calls to all the regional police commanders in the seven districts of Acholi Sub-region, to get updates on what has transpired within the region.

If it is a Monday, I normally attend a meeting with the regional police commanders and district police commanders from 9am to 11am on issues happening in their region and come out with ideas of curbing them down.

By 11:30 am, I attend to the general public on complaints lodged against police officers’ misconduct, in case they are there and also give guidance to the general public.
My day is also full of receiving and responding to certain issues that need clarity from the press.

At times, in case of a technicality in handling certain issues, I seek for advice from my superiors.

At 2pm every Monday, I hold a press briefing at the Northern Uganda Media centre, where I brief various media houses in the region on what has been transpiring during the course of the week.
I break off for late lunch at 3pm in case there is no emergency that requires my presence and return to office by 3:30pm, then carry on with work until 6pm.

Sometimes I may retire from the office at 7pm or 8pm.
On a Monday evening when I retire from work, I head to for a radio talk show at Mega Fm, where I interact with the community on sensitisation programmes.

Mondays are the most stressful days for me, because of the heavy workload. On this day I retire home by 9pm.

I have enjoyed working with the media in the region because of their cooperation with police as an institution. Although there are a few issues that I have had with some of them, we have been able to get back and iron them out.

At the moment there is trust in police by the public. On many occasions, in case there are certain issues happening in the communities, the locals always communicate and the team is always dispatched on the ground. I have also enjoyed the good working relationship with some NGOs in the region especially Care Uganda and UNDP that were able to provide some furniture to my office.

However, working alone in my department, where I do not have a deputy, is tiresome. Most of the time, I have to be on the ground working meaning I cannot get a day off like other officers.

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