Kampala- Districts in western Uganda took a lion’s share in the police recruitment of 4, 000 probation police constables and 650 police cadets, this newspaper’s analysis reveals.
The region took up 28 per cent of the 637 police cadet slots, with districts with smaller populations getting a highest number of recruits.
For instance, Kisoro and Kumi districts have nearly the same population size but Kisoro, the home district of Inspector General of Police Kale Kayihura, got 11 police cadets and 87 probations police constables (PPCs), yet Kumi got only four cadets and 35 PPCs.
Police recruits on a quota system pegged to population, an approach that officials introduced three years ago to achieve regional balance in the 43,000-strong Force.
Kiruhura District and its population is lower than that of Lira District by 100,000 people, but it got eight cadets and 26 PPCs compared to the seven cadets and 57 PPCs for the latter.
Mr Fred Enanga, the police spokesperson, said it is not a policy of police leadership to favour one region over another.
“The challenge we get is people in some parts of the country don’t want to join armed forces even when you advertise. In that case, if we don’t get the needed quota in one district, we get the numbers in another,” he said.
The spokesperson could, however, not explain the disparities where prospective recruits in under-represented districts had been turned away.
In the recent recruitment, Teso region got 32 cadets, Bugisu and Sebei regions got 33 cadets and the entire Karamoja region got only three more cadets than the 12 in Ntungamo District.
The shadow minister for internal affairs, Mr Muwanga Kivumbi, alleged that the IGP Kayihura, whom we could not reach directly by press time, supports the imbalance for political expediency.
“Even the internal police review report shows that imbalance but [Gen] Kayihura kept it under lock and key. I didn’t expect any professionalism in the recruitment,” the MP said.