The Inspector General of Police, General Kale Kayihura, has written a strongly-worded letter warning corrupt officers that their days in the force are numbered.
In the three-page letter is sent to all units, Kayihura urged corrupt officers and uncommitted officers to have an inner reflection of themselves and find out why they joined the force. Kayihura asked officers who do not feel like serving their country to inform the police administration, adding that there are many Ugandans who want to serve.
Kayihura’s outbursts come at a time the police force is blamed for doing little to counter the escalating crime in many parts of the country. Cases of murder, rape and robbery have dominated the media the whole of this year. There are also complaints that Ugandans can hardly access free service from the force, where police bond is allegedly sold and a victim has to bribe police to investigate cases and have the suspects taken to court.
In the letter, Kayihura noted that many police officers do not realise the Uganda Police Force is the first line of defence in the fight against violent crimes and terrorism that the country is facing today. Describing their attitude as dangerous and unfortunate, Kayihura said such officers were in the force for other reasons among which he said was buying time and waiting for something else to happen.
Kayihura said such uncommitted officers were waiting to make an extra shilling at a check point; police counter or while handling a police file. He said such officers when assigned duty to patrol or guard, one moment they are there the next moment they have disappeared from their positions of deployment.
The police chief observed that those deployed for work lack commitment or enthusiasm and do not project the embodiment of lawful authority.
Kayihura, who has always denied the police is the most corrupt institution, finally said this kind of attitude cannot be left to continue adding the people of Uganda deserve better. He observed that no officer had been forced to join the Uganda Police Force, but fell short of adding that they were free to leave.
Kayihura said that police’s function is to protect life and property, ensure law and order and prevent and detect crime; but if officers have to be pushed to do their work they should know they are violating the code of conduct of the force.
Kayihura told officers that to be an officer is not a service but a mission, not an opportunity to profiteer or advance personal agenda. He observed that officers without this kind of attitude were in the wrong place.