Police Bashed Over New Headquarters Building Instead of Officers Houses

Ugandans have bashed the police leadership for opting to construct a new headquarters building instead of focusing on housing units for its officers.

The Inspector General of Police Martin Okoth Ochola yesterday launched the construction of a new structure for the police headquarters at Naguru. The structure valued at 77.5 billion Shillings will accommodate all major police directorates and key offices in the Justice Law and Order Sector.

However, several Ugandans have taken to micro-blogging platform X to express their disappointment with Ochola and the entire JLOS for prioritizing offices instead of addressing the chronic accommodation challenge of police officers. Many are wondering whether the force has grown too big not to fit in the structure built by Gen Edward Kale Kayihura. 

“I thought it would make sense if you started with residential houses for police officers…! I would love to see our police officers sleeping in good places. This will help them to reduce their anger towards the public,” one X user posted.

Trust Hunting Vodka:0754649086

They also referred to a project for the construction of 1,020 housing units at police headquarters that Kayihura had started in 2016. Gen Kayihura expected that at least 10,000 housing units would be constructed in 10 years and although he expected to commission the first set in 2018, he was ejected from the Police Leadership on March 4, 2018, before the housing units were completed. Later, only 360 housing units were commissioned by the Minister for Internal Affairs.

Another person reminded police of the appalling living conditions of police officers at Nsambya and Naguru police barracks. Others wondered whether Ochola and his group were pleased by the appearance of Kampala Central Police Station –CPS.

“CPS in Kampala is looking like a kraal and you’re building another HQ when the current HQ isn’t even 15 years old? Really???? Rebuild CPS please it has a more reflection of the condition of Uganda Police than a fancy office building.”

Early this year, several police officers told URN that housing and space allocation was likely to spark off a serious conflict at Nsambya barracks. Police officers said space for setting up a resting makeshift or being allocated a housing unit was based on one’s closeness to the barracks commandant ACP Amos Gumisiriza.

However, ACP Gumisiriza explained that space was allocated depending on one’s needs. Gumisiriza added that some police officers had been transferred or retired but chose to remain in the barracks. 

Police have previously estimated that more than 13,000 of its personnel work and reside in the crowded barracks in the Kampala metropolitan area. However, these are living in misery and it is believed that this situation has also contributed to the recent spates of suicides among police officers. More than 10 police ended their lives in various parts of the country.

Other messages bashing police are: “The new UPF HQTRS project is good, but addressing current officer housing issues is better. Prioritize officers’ well-being, and provide decent accommodation. Those officers share rooms but you ignore that. Balance development while addressing immediate needs for a more effective force.”

Another added: “Instead of building your policemen houses where to sleep in your stations like in Wandegeya, Nsambya, and Kawempe. You are busy building new headquarters yet even the current one is not bad.”

While taking over from Gen Kayihura in 2018, Ochola promised to prioritise police officers’ welfare. However, it is five years down the road and this accommodation challenge has been tackled.  

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *