KAMPALA. The Inspector General of Police (IGP), Gen Kale Kayihura, yesterday petitioned the Speaker of Parliament, Ms Rebecca Kadaga, over budget cuts and among other challenges highlighted the problem of perennial underfunding to the Uganda Police Force.
The IGP, who met with Ms Kadaga at the police headquarters in Naguru, a Kampala suburb, also lobbied for more funds for the Force in the 2017/18 Financial Year.
A source that attended the closed-door meeting told Daily Monitor that Gen Kayihura requested Ms Kadaga to make sure the police budget is increased to Shs612b up from Shs516 in the 2016/17 Financial Year.
Gen Kayihura further explained that insufficient funding was hampering police field operations, training, crime investigations, constructions of police housing units and forensic laboratory.
President Museveni last week said all sectors will have their budgets cut by 10 per cent and the the money saved from the move will be used to finance oil roads.
However, Gen Kayihura told Ms Kadaga that the police budget was reduced from Shs612b in year 2014/15 to Sh516b in the current Financial Year and that in the 2017/18 budget, the police budget was further cut to Shs506b.
When contacted, Mr Andrew Kaweesi, the police spokesperson, could neither confirm nor deny the information from the sources and admitted that the police budget was cut in the next Financial Year. He said Ms Kadaga promised to support police projects, including the on-going construction of police housing units.
“The Speaker’s visit was mainly for accountability on how we use funds allocated to us. However, it should be known that more than Shs350b of our budget is always spent on salaries. Capacity building funds has been cut by 50 per cent,” Mr Kaweesi said.
On Monday, Mr Felix Ndyomugyenyi, a senior police detective and deputy director human resource development, said police had failed to resolve more than 4,000 murders committed between 2011 and 2015. He put the blame on lack of expertise and understaffing of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID).
According to the 2015/2016 police budget, only Shs5b was allocated to CID out of Shs54b needed to investigate more than 200,000 capital offences, among others murder, economic crimes, defilement and rape.
Mr Julius Odwe, a retired detective and former deputy IGP, and Mr Caleb Aluk, the managing director Mesh Consult Ltd for Corporate Investigations, while speaking to Daily Monitor on Monday, warned that failure to resolve murder cases would escalate criminal activities in the country.
After touring the on-going construction projects, Ms Kadaga promised to support police by lobbying for increased funding to the Force. She said police plans excited her, particularly the construction of a regional forensic laboratory to aid criminal investigations.
“You may be wondering why I came here. I came here to internalise myself so that when a report is brought on the floor [of Parliament], I know what to ask. When we are discussing the Budget and policy statement, we shall know where to put emphasis,” Ms Kadaga said.