Two officers for one house - report

Police personnel and their families are housed in dilapidated buildings . FILE PHOTO

What you need to know:

n some stations like Nsambya, Ntinda, Tororo and Masindi, kitchens had been converted into accommodation units.

The welfare of Uganda Police Force in way of accommodation is still lacking, an annual report from the Auditor General’s office has revealed. According to a survey carried out last year, the office discovered that only 24 per cent of entitled officers were provided with accommodation.

Some officers who are not entitled to staff accommodation continued to occupy houses in the barracks thereby aggravating the housing shortage. According to the institution’s standing orders, all police officers below the rank of Assistant Superintendent of Police are entitled to accommodation.

Accommodation
Of the 38,460 officers entitled to the service, only 9,331 were provided with accommodation; a representative of 24 per cent. This means that the ratio of police officers to housing units is two officers to one unit.

However, the report also notes that in some regions, the housing units are shared by different sexes. “In some extreme cases, we noted that some female police officers in Arua and Ntinda, a Kampala suburb, were sharing accommodation with male colleagues in the same house,” the report noted.

In some stations like Nsambya, Ntinda, Tororo and Masindi, kitchens had been converted into accommodation units. The report has attributed the inadequate provision of accommodation to poor workmanship, failure to match staff recruitment and transfer to housing units and delayed construction works.

Despite the increase in funding towards the police force from Shs142 billion in the 2008/2009 financial year to Shs319 billion in the last financial year, the report continues to note that the money has not been sufficiently put to use by management.

“We noted that the workmanship on these structures was poor. The slabs for some of the units were substandard, with exposed aggregate stones while others were made of poor quality materials like timber and iron sheets,” the report reads in part.

The government accountant recommended the need to enforce the regulations regarding staff accommodation, scaling up repair and maintenance of police accommodation because such a state of disrepair has adverse effects on the living conditions of occupants.

The Directorate of administration head, Mr Moses Balimwoyo, said he could not comment on a report that he has not had a look at. “I need to look at that report you are talking about. I cannot do much right now,” he said.

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