The Greater North Parliamentary Group is set to table a private member’s bill titled, “The Police (Amendment) Bill 2022” which seeks to amend the governance and administration of Uganda Police Force.
The bill proposes qualifications and the term office for the Inspector General of Police (IGP) and the deputy.
The Vice Chairperson of the group, Lillian Paparu said the current law does not state clearly the qualifications of the top officer in the police force.
“This person must be a graduate and must have served in the police force from the rank of a commissioner upwards and for not less than four years”, she said.
The legislators from the region revealed their plans as they addressed a press conference on Tuesday, 19 July 2022.
The bill also proposes that the IGP should serve for a term of four years and should be eligible for reappointment.
The MPs said the new law will streamline penalties for crimes committed by police officers, cognizant that most often, penalties for the same crime vary from district to district.
“If a police officer committed a crime in Arua and another commits the same crime in Kasese, you will find that the processes they go through are different. The penalties given to these people are different. The one in Kasese may be given a heavier penalty than the one in Arua,” said Paparu.
If the bill is passed into law, there will be a clear distinction on the roles of different security agencies and how they complement each other.
“Currently, you may fail to know who is a police officer, a UPDF officer and a security person. You may not even understand the uniform they put on,” Hon. John Amos Okot (NRM, Agago North) said.
The proposed bill will also make provisions for deployment of police officers on missions outside Uganda.
MPs also want the new law to provide for operations of the engineering department of Uganda Police, which they say is currently operating outside the law.
“We now have UPDF engineering brigade, their works are provided for in their act, the Police Act does not have that provision, yet there are houses constructed by the Police,” said Paparu.
Similarly the new law will provide for other functions that Police is able to take on that are currently not provided for in the law.