Members of Parliament on the Budget Committee have rejected a proposal to provide funding to the Uganda Police Force to establish stations at sub-counties to protect funds disbursed for the Parish Development Model (PDM).
The MPs say priority should be on rehabilitating police stations at the district level.
While presenting budget estimates for the Ministry of Defence and Internal Affairs for financial year 2022/2023, Defence Committee Chairperson, Hon. Rosemary Nyakikongoro said the Uganda Police Force is requesting for Shs865.8 billion for the new financial year.
She told MPs on the Budget Committee that of the Shs7.5 billion required in the Police budget for construction of 30 model sub-county police stations, Shs4.5 billion has been provided for the new financial year, leaving a shortfall of Shs3 billion.
“We need to support this funding with the Parish Development Model coming up,” she said.
Hon. Ibrahim Ssemujju (FDC, Kira Municipality) queried the relationship between police stations and the Parish Development Model saying it was not feasible to “invest billions of money to protect Shs17 million at sub-counties.”
Busiki County MP, Hon. Paul Akamba reechoed Ssemujju’s concerns saying there was need to convince Ugandans on how setting up police stations at every sub-county will benefit the country.
“What informed your decision? Do you have statistics on whether the police stations we have at district level cannot serve the sub-counties? Which criteria will be used to select the 30 model sub-counties?” asked Akamba.
Hon. David Kabanda (NRM, Kasambya County) said police headquarters at districts need to be given priority for rehabilitation before stations at the sub-counties can be constructed.
“Have you worked on the police headquarters of Sheema or Sembabule? There are some districts that are still hiring office space for police stations,” said Kabanda.
Lwemiyaga County MP, Hon. Theodore Ssekikubo defended the Defence Committee’s request for the funding,
“For every sub-county, there is an officer called an ASP whose designations have been transformed into stations,” Ssekikubo explained.
Hon. Muwanga Kivumbi (NUP, Butambala County) said, “there are dilapidated district police stations that lack in material capacity”, and reiterated the need to prioritize their rehabilitation.
“Before you go to sub-counties to spread yourself thin, first ensure that every district has a standard police station,” Muwanga Kivumbi said.
The Defence Committee observed in its report that creation of new administration units presents the need for more police stations and police posts.
“Failure to provide funding would lead to increase in domestic arrears for rent and hire of mechanical workshops,” said Nyakikongoro.