By Our Reporter
Plans by the Uganda Police Force to recruit up to 7,000 officers ahead of the 2016 general elections may stall following the failure by the Ministry of Finance to provide Shs 8.3b required for the activity.
Mr. Rogers Muhirwa, the Police Under Secretary, told the Parliamentary Committee on Defence and Internal Affairs that Police planned to recruit 1,000 Cadets and 6,000 Police Constables in the two financial years 2013/2014 and 2014/2015 “in order to implement a Cabinet directive and to realize the numbers to police the general elections.”Mr. Muhirwa said the funds are meant to cater for the recruitment and partial training.
He also said that in order to professionalise the Uganda Police Force, there is need to improve quality of personnel through continuous training in basic courses which include leadership, command and control, public order management, traffic control, investigation and crime management.
He also said that Police needs to invest heavily in classified intelligence information, which requires Shs 12b of which only Shs 5.9b is available.
The Committee was however unhappy that several Police officers had not received salary for several months now, whereas Police records showed that they had fully utilized the wage bill, as at the end of December 2013.
“An officer at Parliament today whispered to me that he had not been paid for three months,” said Hon. Hassan Fungaro (FDC, Obongi).
Hon. Odonga Otto (FDC, Aruu) said he had received information during a Parliament Outreach programme in Western Uganda, that the District Police Commanders of Ntoroko, Bundibuggyo and Kasese districts had not received their salaries since October 2013.
Hon. Eddie Kwizera also wondered why the Police budget had not increased despite the new recruitment and promotions in the Force.The Minister of State for Internal Affairs Hon. James Baba requested that the Committee approves the necessary resources for the UPF to avoid an increase in the challenges faced.
The Inspector General of Police Gen. Kale Kayihura said with the support of the Committee of Defence and Internal Affairs the budget of the Police was set to increase in the 2014/2015 financial year.
He said that Police needs to be properly facilitated in order to curb crimes which traverse the borders like terrorism. He also said that there was a reduction in crime rates in the country since 2006 following the recruitment of more personnel in the Force.
The Ministry of Finance has provided Shs 395.2b for the Uganda Police Force for the financial year 2014/2015.