The Inspector-General of Police, John Martins Okoth Ochola has directed the withdrawal of police guards from all Kampala Capital City Authority directors and installations.
KCCA has 10 directorates each headed by a director and these have bodyguards and those guarding their homes, whereas several KCCA installations including health centres and division headquarters are also guarded by police officers.
However, following last month’s directive, all the police guards have been withdrawn.
“The intention to withdraw by the Inspector General of Police informed KCCA that the police guards were to be withdrawn by February 27, 2020 and that they should get private guards. On March, 1, these guards were withdrawn,” Police spokesperson, Fred Enanga said.
“Under the public service, it is not indicated that the KCCA directors are supposed to have police guards.”
The police mouthpiece said consequently, the move has seen a total of 261 guards withdrawn from KCCA directors, their homes and the institution’s installations.
Lukwago, Kitaka spared
However, the move has not affected Kampala Lord Mayor, Erias Lukwago and acting KCCA Executive Director, Eng. Andrew Kitaka and according to Enanga, they are waiting for clarification in regards the same.
“We need further guidance on how to do it,” he said.
He, however, said those police officers deployed to work with KCCA enforcement officers in operations have not been affected by the directive.
When contacted for a comment, KCCA spokesperson, Peter Kauju said he was not aware of the move but said he would get back to us in case of any information regarding the same.
The move according to Enanga has been necessitated by the shortage of manpower in the police force and subsequently, those withdrawn from KCCA will be filling some of the gaps.
Currently, there are 43,000 police officers in the country but the force needs at least 80,000 officers to effectively execute its mandate.
Last year, President Museveni turned down the police’s demands to have an increase in the number of officers.
Museveni told the 25th Police Council at Naguru in November that there are no funds to cater for more officers in the force but urged them to adopt a British colonialists’ approach in managing crime.
“The colonialists didn’t have enough resources but their plan was through the chiefs – Muluka and sub-county chiefs. They (chiefs) would call the police patrol. I closely monitored it between 1951 and 1958. I could see these people manage huge areas using a skeleton number of police officers,” Museveni said last year.
“What if we had a police station per sub-county with 20 police officers? There are around 1,600 sub-counties in Uganda. That is a force of 32,000.”
A number of government ministries, departments and institutions are guarded by police officers and it remains to be seen whether the force will withdraw them just like it has been done with KCCA.