No funds for police housing, says Otafiire

MPs appalled by state of houses at Jinja police barracks

What you need to know:

  • Maj Gen (Rtd) Kahinda Otafiire said he is aware that the police officers’ accommodation units were built by the colonial government and they need new ones, but they are limited by the budget.

Hopes of improving the accommodation of police officers have been shattered after the Minister of Internal Affairs said they don’t have funds.

Maj Gen (Rtd) Kahinda Otafiire said he is aware that the police officers’ accommodation units were built by the colonial government and they need new ones, but they are limited by the budget.

“It isn’t only the police, there are others such as the prisons and immigrations. There are quite a number of people who should be accommodated. But our resource envelope is small and there are many priorities,” Gen Otafiire said.

A police officer at his house in Kibuli Police Barracks. The government hopes to build new houses for the Force. PHOTO BY Abubaker Lubowa.

“However, the Police Authority together with the Inspector General of Police are now working out a plan to ensure that our police officers are accommodated,” he added.

The remarks are contained in the Internal Affairs ministerial statement for this financial year.

The police with a strength of 52,000 personnel has a housing accommodation gap of 33,000 units. Last financial year, they erected 10,000 uniports. Even the existing 9,200 housing units need critical repairs.  

Gen Otafiire said the structures were built in the colonial times when the police strength was just in three thousands.

According to police, they require Shs879b, which is the annual budget of the entire Force, to meet the current housing needs.

“The police force has been allocated Shs43.345b leaving Shs44.641b shortfall,” the ministerial statement reads in part.

On March 8, 2022, Ms Anita Among, then the Deputy Speaker of Parliament, visited the family of the late Robert Bweyamba, a police officer and a driver at Parliament, at Nsambya Police Barracks and she promised to advocate for the police officers’ welfare.

“...as the Parliament of Uganda, we shall do our best to ensure that welfare is handled as a matter of priority in the budgets that we process,” Ms Among said in a tweet.

Members of Parliament on the Defence and Internal Affairs Committee also made the same pledge while touring Jinja Police Barracks in eastern Uganda.

Utilities

In this financial year, police have Shs16.2b of the required Sh26.4b for electricity. The government also allocated them Shs11b against the required Shs27.2b for water bills.

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