A family dispute has seen a police officer Leopold Ben Odoi , No. 35296, attached to Butaleja Central Police Station, go more than three years without his salary.
Odoi says he has not been paid for 48 months following a family dispute that landed him in court and attracted the attention of his bosses.
The police officer has now been forced to turn into trader, selling silver fish (Mukene) in Tororo Central Market to earn a living to support his family.
Odoi traces his troubles to 2011 to a fall out with his stepbrother Solomon Osinde and nephew Patrick Obbo over the family poultry business.
His UK based stepbrother Osinde and Obbo accused him of swindling 3.2 million shillings from the business and took him to court.
Our reporter has seen the documents from the Tororo grade 11 magistrates court where the case was heard. The case number was 85/2011 in September 2011.
However, Magistrate Godfrey Kintu Sayekwo dismissed the case against Odoi after the prosecution failed to avail prosecution witnesses and any other material evidence in court in time.
Odoi claims that the police human resource and legal departments took note of the case. The departments twice wrote to the Unit Commander at Tororo central police station that Odoi should be re-tried for discreditable/irregular conduct contrary to section 44(1) code 12 of the police act.
In both cases the police disciplinary court found no merit in the prosecution’s case. The defendant was accordingly acquitted in a judgment signed on 19th November 2013 by D/ASP Sande Milton, the court Chairperson.
According to Odoi, when he tried to follow up the matter with the Police legal team at the headquarters with the aim of being reinstated, he was instead commanded to produce the person who filed the case to testify against him.
Still no witnesses turned up to testify against Odoi.
Michael Odongo, the Malaba region Police spokesperson, confirmed that Odoi appeared before all these courts including the Police disciplinary, but was found innocent after the principal witness in the case failed to appear to testify against him.
Odongo says there isn’t much he can do and has forworded Odoi’s matter to the legal department at the police headquarters.
With the months dragging on and no salary forthcoming, Odoi is now a part-time fish trader as he waits and hopes police will take note of his plight and reinstate him.