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10 roadblocks awaiting new police boss Byakagaba

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Inspector General of Police (IGP)-designate Abbas Byakagaba. PHOTO/FILE

Violent crime, corruption and police welfare challenges are some of the issues Inspector General of Police (IGP)-designate Abbas Byakagaba and his new leadership face as he takes over leadership of the Force.

On Friday, President Museveni returned the leadership of the police to traditional officers after 23 years of having military officers occupy one of the top two positions in the police force. These military officers were tasked with the responsibility of reforming the police. 

Mr Byakagaba’s primary challenge is addressing the persistently high crime rate, which has remained elevated despite numerous interventions by various police leaders over the years, causing many residents to return home before nightfall. 

Violent crimes, such as murder, rape, and terrorism, have been a priority for President Museveni, particularly in his investments in the police’s Criminal Investigations Directorate.

Efforts to get a comment from Mr Byakagaba on how he will deal with the policing hurdles ahead of him were futile as his off since Friday evening. 

The crime report 2023 indicated that the volume of crimes has decreased by just 1.5 percent compared to 2022 from 231,653 cases to 228,074 in the same period of assessment. 

Mr Museveni maintained Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIGP) Tom Magambo as the director of CID.

The President praised AIGP Magambo for bringing positive changes in investigations and reforming the directorate.

Mr Byakagaba will have to look for twice the budget the police gets annually to deal with the shortage of funds that has crippled the Force. 

Police get an average of Shs900b annually against the Shs1.5 trillion that they need to effectively manage policing.

Due to the shortage of funds, police officers have been unable to respond to crime incidents and also feed the officers.

Mr Byakagaba will also implement the President’s sub-county policing model. The model is billed as the key to closing gaps exploited by the criminals at the lower levels. 

However, in the next financial year, the government provided only Shs5.6b for the implementation of the model in nine sub-counties yet the police had budgeted Shs36.9b to cover 30 sub-counties. 

The police have consistently held the top rank for corruption in the country.

Former Director of Operations Assuman Mugenyi said Mr Byakagaba has to get a good team that he will work with to be able to deal with corruption. 

“You can’t fight corruption alone. Mr Byakagaba is not corrupt, but he needs to get a team that believes in fighting corruption and that is the major challenge,” Mr Mugenyi said. 
Internally, the accommodation and provision of utilities for police officers are significant issues that greatly impact their performance and discipline. 

However, many previous police chiefs have not been able to convince Parliament and the Ministry of Finance to prioritise funding for the police housing projects.

The police have a strength of 54,000 personnel but with an accommodation gap of 33,000 units. 
Junior officers are supposed to live in the barracks forcing them to erect makeshift structures which they call home. In many incidents, two police officers and their families share a single room.

The high cases of traffic accidents are also a concern and are causing huge financial losses to the country. 
More than 4,800 people were killed in traffic accidents last year, which is a 15 percent increase from the cases registered in 2022 while 4,366 people were killed in homicide cases in 2023, a five percent increase in comparison to 2022.

So far, all efforts to reduce accidents on the roads have not yielded results. 
Police leadership 

IGP Abbas Byakagaba
D/IGP James Ochaya
Directorate Criminal Investigations: AIGP Tom Magambo
Directorate of Crime Intelligence: Brig Gen Christopher Ddamulira
Directorate of International Police and International Relations: AIGP Grace Akullo
Directorate of Health Services: AIGP Dr Moses Byaruhanga
Directorate of Research and Planning: AIGP Erasmus Twaruhukwa
Police Attaché in Nairobi, Kenya: AIGP John Ndungutse
Police Attaché in Washington, USA: AIGP Haruna Isabirye
Field Force Unit: AIGP John Nuwagaba
Directorate of Fire Prevention and Rescue Services: AIGP Fahdil Ali Kaali
Directorate of Logistics and Engineering: AIGP Richard Edyegu
Directorate of Welfare and Production: SCP Hadijah Namutebi
Directorate of Human Resource Development: SCP Moses Kafeero
Kampala Metropolitan Police: SCP Stephen Tanui
Chief Political Commissariat: SCP Ubaldo Bamunoba 
Directorate Counter Terrorism: SCP David Wasswa 
Directorate of Human Rights and Legal Services: SCP Charles Kataratambi 
Directorate of ICT: SCP Felix Baryamwisaki
Directorate of Forensic Services: ACP Andrew Mubiru
Former Chief of Joint Staff: Maj Gen Abel Kandiho
Former Director of Welfare and Production: AIGP Charles Birungi
Former Director of Human Resource Development: Brig Godfrey Golooba
Former Director of ICT: SCP Yusuf Ssewanyana.