A report by Transparency International in 2015 has once again the Uganda Police Force in the glare of publicity for being the most corrupt institution in Uganda.
Similarly, over the years there have been other reports by the Inspector General of Government (IGG) office and the Uganda Human Rights Commission, pinning the UPF on corruption.
And, just yesterday, retired Masaka High Court Judge Justice Vincent Kibuuka Musoke weighed in on the issue of corruption in the public service and advised those who feel they cant measure up to the standards, to resign.
“I think if people feel they cannot desist from corruption and soliciting bribes, they should help us and keep themselves away from civil service because the country cannot develop,” Justice Kibuuka Musoke was quoted as saying.
The police in Uganda are supposed to ‘serve and protect’ but unfortunately many have abdicated that role and instead chosen to torment the culpable citizens by demanding for bribes to carry out even the simplest investigation.
For instance, why should a complainant first part with money to ‘facilitate’ an investigating officer to ‘swear an affidavit’ to track a stolen phone or any property for that matter? Also, why must one buy a photocopy of a police form (normally from kiosks found around police stations) in order to record details of his/her stolen property?
This calls for serious intervention by the superiors.
Anyhow, somebody recently asked why the Police Standards Unit (PSU) is headed by a police officer, and suggested it would make more sense if the overseer was an eminent individual with no direct links to the UPF.
‘Enkima tesaala gwa kibira’ literary meaning that man’s closest relatives do not participate as judges in matters of their abode (forest), he said while giving an example of Kenya where they have the Independent Police Oversight Authority (IPOA), an impartial civilian oversight body which handles controversial issues arising from the behavior and actions of the police.
That said, a lot has been said about corruption in the Uganda Police Force but little seems to be done, leaving the perpetrators with free reign to denude the people of Uganda.
So, the immediate plea as we move into 2016 is for the Force to clean its image in regard to corruption.