Kampala. Government has dropped financial assistance to the police budget by Shs95b, but shifted its focus to supporting the Force in retooling officers with an injection of Shs91.5b in the 2017/2018 Budget.
The Shs91.5b, which is 17 per cent of the police’s Shs524.8b budget, will be used in retraining, capacity building and equipping officers.
The police budget has dropped by Shs1b from Shs525.6b in the previous financial year.
Police spokesman Asan Kasingye said the funds will help them to provide training together with necessary tools of trade.
Police have now established new training schools, including Police Senior Command and Staff College at Bwebajja in Wakiso District, Counter Terrorism School in Katakwi District, and Field Force Unit School in Ikafe in Nebbi District.
Police will spend 45 per cent (Shs236b) of its budget on wages. The expenses on wages and non-wage recurrent expenditure contribute to 80 per cent to the police budget.
The remaining 20 per cent (Shs101b) will be used for developments such as construction.
This means there is hope of having massive installation of close-circuit television cameras (CCTV) in major urban centres in the country.
According to the Internal Affairs ministerial policy statement, they need Shs203b to kick start the project.
The move to drop government support to police will also affect the criminal investigations and intelligence department.
Both directorates of criminal investigations and intelligence have been given Shs34b. The allocated funds are just a third of what is needed to investigate capital offences alone. On average, police spend Shs2.1m to investigate a capital offence. At least 50,000 capital offences are registered annually. Another 60,000 minor offences are registered in the same period.
Finance minister Matia Kasaija said in the financial year beginning, government will construct four one-stop centres that cover police, prosecutors, court and prison services in the districts of Buhweju, Nakaseke, Mayuge and Butambala to deal with case backlog.
Funds allocated for police housing have remained at Shs4b, which will impact on the speed of the ongoing housing project in Naguru.
Currently, police are constructing 1,020 housing units at Naguru. Police have a shortage of 30,000 units countrywide.
Last year, police stopped recruitment of police officers to redirect the funding to retraining of its officers. Most of the officers, especially non-commissioned officers (inspectors) and those at and above the rank of assistant superintendents of police, have skills gaps because many didn’t have training grounds.