Uganda Police Force Moves To Close 2000 Police Stations Countrywide

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Police’s Police Advisory Committee –PAC chaired by Inspector General of Police –IGP Martin Okoth Ochola, has started deliberating on closing more than 2,000 police posts and shift personnel to sub-counties as per President Museveni’s advice.

Museveni, while making his maiden visit to police headquarters at Naguru, where he also addressed the 25th Police Council comprised of 230 members, said police personnel is not effectively deployed thus causing policing gaps.

In his view, Museveni said it was time IGP Ochola and other top police echelons established a police station at each of the more than 1,600 sub-counties, deployed at least 20 officers at each and equipped with two motorcycles.

PAC this week, according to source, started discussing on whether Museveni’s directive can be implemented in a one-year period or should wait until 2021 general elections period is complete.

Museveni said if police stations are built at each sub-county, Uganda Police Force would need only 32,000 to 35,000 personnel as opposed to the current force that is more than 40,000 but facing numerous policing gaps.

Museveni said police does not need too much personnel to secure the entire country deriving his opinion to colonial masters who used two police personnel, Parish and sub-county chiefs to keep law and order in then 55 Sub-Counties whose sizes were equivalent to current policing regions.

Museveni added that if colonial rulers were able to secure the country with less technology, why does the current police force fail where there are easy means of transport, CCTV cameras and more than 23 million phones in hands of civilians.

Source said Museveni tasked to Ochola and his deputy Maj Gen Stephen Muzeyi Sabiiti to ensure this plan is implemented with immediate effect. He emphasized that all police personnel should be effectively deployed, well supervised and equipped to respond to any emergencies.

Apparently, Uganda Police Force has 1,100 police stations whereby most of them are located in urban and peri-urban areas. Museveni wondered why a police station at Nakasero cannot be able to police up to Kireka if the deployment and supervision are effectively done.

If former IGP Gen Edward Kalekyeezi Kayihura’s figures in handover report are anything to go by, police personnel stand at 44,600. Nevertheless, Ochola’s manpower audit revealed in June this year revealed that close to 6000 had deserted though to date the official report has never been made public.

Deputy police spokesperson, Polly Namaye, last week told journalists that police leadership had indeed started deliberating about Museveni’s strategic guidance.

In his third month as IGP, Ochola ordered for closure of all police booths that had mushroomed during Gen Kayihura’s reign. At least 1200 police booths across the country had been closed by end of May this year.



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