MPs support police’s quest for more funding

Police cordon off a scene of crime in Kampala in May 2019. The Force says its Directorate of Criminal Investigations (CID) requires an average of Shs2.1m to investigate a capital offence. PHOTO / FILE

What you need to know:

  • The Force had requested for Shs304b for criminal investigation and intelligence, but has instead been allocated Shs42.7b, leaving a funding gap of Shs261b.

Members of Parliament on the Internal Affairs and Defence Committee have supported the Uganda Police Force’s plea to have more funds allocated to crime intelligence gathering.

The Force had requested for Shs304b for criminal investigation and intelligence, but has instead been allocated Shs42.7b, leaving a funding gap of Shs261b.

According to the police policy statement, the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (CID) requires an average of Shs2.1m to investigate a capital offence.

“This means that for 40,000 capital offences, CID requires an average of Shs84b to facilitate quality investigations,” Mr Aggrey Wunyi, the Uganda Police Force undersecretary, said as he appeared before the committee yesterday.

The Police presented their budget proposals for the Financial Year 2022/2023 amounting to Shs2.4 trillion. However, the Finance ministry has allocated Shs840b to the Force.

In the budget framework paper, the Force wants Shs1.6 trillion for accommodation and staff housing project.

Another Shs370.6b is allocated for wages, Shs263b for non-wages and Shs2016.2b for development.

According to the policy statement, the Force has a housing gap of 43,000 housing units, each valued at Shs37m.

“The current housing deficit has forced many police officers to rent outside the barracks, making mobilisation [of personnel] very difficult. Police requests government to have a deliberate affirmative intervention to solve this acute accommodation problem through budget support,” the statement reads in part.

The Force also requested for Shs187b for the third phase of the CCTV project but no money has been provided for it. The first phase involved installation of 3,233 cameras within the Kampala Metropolitan Area, while phase II involved installation of 2,446 cameras in 10 new cities, municipalities, major towns and highways.

The third phase is to fill gaps within the Kampala Metropolitan Area, operation and maintenance, as well as upgrade CCTV cameras.

Tororo North County MP Geofrey Ekanya said police should give special attention to the welfare of its officers and their families. He also criticised the dilapidated structures in which police officers live, saying with such bad housing, it is impossible to expect good policing as this demotivates the officers.

Communication

Police also want another Shs70b to revamp radio communication systems countrywide. However, only Shs5b has been provided, leaving a funding gap of Shs65b.

Radio communication and the CCTV project were part of the 10-point security plan by President Museveni to curb crime following the violent wave of insecurity that hit the country in 2017.

Mr Museveni ordered procurement of communication gadgets to ease communication on crime, noting that police officers were using ordinary phones which were not effective in crime management.

Police then said they had not acquired the radio calls due to funding constraints.

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