Nsambya police barracks has spent over three weeks without electricity, the Nile Post has learnt.
In August last year, the Director in charge of Logistics and Engineering Godfrey Bangirana directed that all police barracks be installed with prepaid water and electricity metres.
“You are all expected to cooperate with Umeme and National Water and Sewerage Corporation staff as they install these meters in police barracks. This calls for a lot of discipline in our utilities management in the entire infrastructure. Noncompliance will attract criminal or disciplinary charge,” read the message in by AIGP Bangirana dated August 25 2017 to Regional and Divisional Police Commanders throughout the country.
According to a police source, for now three weeks, the barracks in Nsambya has been in total darkness after the prepaid electricity got used up.
Apparently the entire barracks is using one Yaka metre.
“This has been the situation for the last three weeks. We have been suffering without power without any help,” said a source within the barracks who preferred anonymity because he is not authorised to speak to the media.
Asked whether the barracks commandant SSP Godfrey Makenye is in the know of the situation, the source answered in the affirmative.
“Though he does not sleep in the barracks, he has an office inside and he should be aware of the situation.”
Asked about the possible cause of the dire situation, the source who is also a police officer said that last year, the then Inspector General of Police, Gen.Kale Kayihura ordered all ungazetted activities including kiosks, bars, phone charging booths and salons out of the barracks but these have since returned.
“After his sacking, all those small businesses returned to the barracks but all of them consume electricity,” said the source.
He said many businesses consuming electricity including small maize mills have since Kayihura’s sacking sprouted in the police barracks.
When contacted for a comment, police spokesperson Emilian Kayima didn’t respond to our repeated calls and messages to him by this website.
However, Nsambya barracks commandant, SSP Godfrey Makenye confirmed the facility was in a power blackout but noted it had been there for a short time.
“I am sure by the end of tomorrow, power will be back,”Makenye told this website on phone.
Asked whether he knew about the mushrooming kiosks, bars, salons and other small businesses feeding off the power of the barracks, Makenye denied knowledge of this.
“If they are there, they are illegal and will face my wrath,” he said.
When asked what could have caused the power blackout, the Nsambya barracks commandant pointed out the big number of police officers that reside in the facility.
Earlier last year, Naguru and Nsambya police barracks spent a number of weeks without water after being disconnected by National Water and Sewerage Corporation over accumulated bills.
The then police spokesperson blamed the accumulated bills to the officers residing in both barracks for always selling water to nearby businesses.
Police requires Shs 22.2 billion for electricity and Shs 7.455billion for water annually.
The ministry of Finance recently proposed installation of prepaid meters that they said would lead to saving of Shs 2 billion on utility bills.
An estimated 50% of the police units have installed pre-paid metres for electricity.