The kidnap and murder of about 12 young ladies in Katabi Town Council in Entebbe, the kidnap and murder of the chief accountant Case Hospital Francis Ekalungar, and now the kidnap and murder of Susan Magara, a cashier with Bwendero Dairy farm all cast doubt on the capacity of the Uganda Police Force to detect, control and curb crime. This Financial Year government committed Shs600 billion to police to fight crime, yet there is little reflection on what this money has done to fight crime.
Almost every kidnap case is ending in a murder and the perpetrators are usually never found which brings to question whether Ugandans are getting value for money in keeping the police on its feet. One cannot help but ask where these billions are going?
There are all indicators that the public confidence in the Uganda Police Force is waning every other day.
Ever since the appointment of Inspector General of Police Kale Kayihura, some rank and file in police have expressed their scepticism about the general’s leadership style and capabilities. Unfortunately, this has eluded the appointing authority, leaving the masses to pay the price.
Right now, more than 3,000 senior police officers remain un-deployed leaving young energetic, ambitious well trained young officers without mentors to run the Force. Over the years, the IGP has earned himself prime time and space in the media for appearing at every serious crime scene, pointing to a factor that his juniors are incompetent.
Though the police boss’ work methods might have not only escaped the attention of the appointing authority, it has also escaped the attention of the Internal Affairs ministry, Parliament and the police authority who play the oversight role.
Save for former Deputy IGP Julius Odwe, few seem to be asking the right questions to the police leadership in regard to the rising crime rate whose perpetrators seems to start and end at the doors of police stations countrywide.
People are kidnapped, robbed, murdered, hit with iron bars, cars stolen among other prevalent crimes, leaving individual families to agonise alone yet several police investigations seem to end with a common jargon ‘we shall leave no stone unturned’. Sometimes though, there has been no evidence to prove the stones were even ever found at all.
Today the chicken have come home to roost!
The police have been left with egg on their face, while criminals are chest thumping and scornfully laughing at the hapless police in a gesture that seems to suggest ‘catch me if you can.’
Regrettably, some senior police officers who would be guiding their juniors to discomfort criminals sit by to await their retirement and sink in oblivion. If it’s the numbers, police’s numerical strength may not be sufficient but they are sizable enough to keep law and order.
The issue: Confidence in police.
Our view: Right now, more than 3,000 senior police officers remain un-deployed leaving young energetic, ambitious well trained young officers without mentors to run the Force.