The Inspector General of Police, John Martins Okoth Ochola on Friday saw off a total of 49 police officers including six directors and other senior officers officially retire from the active service of the force.
Speaking on behalf of his colleagues, AIGP Moses Balimwoyo, the most senior among the retirees asked the police force not to forget them, for they have served diligently.
“We are a free resource on how we handled particular situations. Please, we can be consulted to give ideas on how things can be handled. We belong to you as a family and we have been with you for almost two thirds of our life. Therefore, it is not good if we don’t remain a partner in whatever you may need from us,”Balimwoyo said.
The former human resource director has spent 47 years in the force having joined the police at the age of 20.
He emphasized the need for retired senior officers to always be remembered for the service they rendered to the force.
“When you succeed, we are part of it and when underscore, we feel bad. We request that you don’t leave us but should remain in partnership. Don’t wait to hear that we are dead, but your territorial officers should find us where necessary consult us and we shall give them guidance other than keeping away with the vast knowledge we have.”
AIGP Balimwoyo said they will always be ambassadors of the force wherever they will go.
Speaking during the function, Ochola said having a formal retirement ceremony is a form of appreciation that the force gives to its officers who have concluded a tough, challenging, thankless and heartbreaking time serving their nation.
“As you realise, quite a big number of officers join the service and many are unable to attend such functions as a result of deaths, desertion, voluntary resignation, and disciplinary or criminal misconducts that lead them to prison. It is, therefore, only through such a gathering that we are accorded a lifetime opportunity to express gratitude, respect, reverence and honor to our own officers whose invaluable contribution are hardly brought to light,”Ochola said.
He said by retiring, the officers are now relieved from the compulsory strains with honor and dignity as they out to start a new chapter of their life.
“It is for this reason that those who are still in service, should look at you with admiration and gratitude for a job well -done. Therefore, consider this function as collective token of appreciation for a great journey of your achievements and beautiful memories.”
IGP Ochola implored the retired officers to always be police emissaries wherever they go so that the force’s name continues to shine.
“I, therefore, call upon you to always see yourselves as good emissaries of Uganda Police Force and never allow any selfish interest to blemish the integrity you have nurtured over the years in this great disciplinary institution. I strongly believe going by your antecedents and the manner you have conducted yourselves over the years in service, and, the skill and knowledge acquired, you surely remain our mirrors and ambassadors wherever you will be.”
Victor Bua Leku, the commissioner in charge of compensation in the Ministry of Public Service urged the retirees to ensure they manage their finances well.
“Review how to manage your savings and expenditure. In the past, government has been giving you everything you used but now it is your turn to provide for yourselves. You have to control the money you spend,”Leku told the officers.
He also urged them to start some income generating projects like tomato growing, investing in salons, washings bays and others that don’t need a lot of capital to ensure they have some extra income, apart from pension and gratuity from government.
“You may participate in a variety of community interactions which include religious, cultural, education and health wellness promotion. Look for opportunities to continue service by supporting police in your areas.”
At the function, 49 officers between the ranks of Assistant Superintendent of Police and Assistant Inspector General of Police, the third highest rank in the force.
Among the notable ones were AIGPS Dr. Steven Kasiima(formerly of traffic police),Moses Balimwoyo(formerly Interpol and human resource), Godfrey Bangirana( formerly of logistics),Lemmy Twinomugisha(formerly welfare and production) , Asuman Mugyenyi(formerly police operations) and Grace Turyagumanawe( former peace and support operations director)