KAMPALA-Civil Society actors , Politicians and the general public have expressed concern about government’s delay to implement reforms aimed at improving service delivery within Uganda Police.
At the National symposium on Rule of Law on Rule of Law held National symposium on Rule of Law, Human Rights and Policing in Uganda held at Hotel Africana in Kampala on Friday, various individuals pointed out that several commissions have been set up since 1986 with the aim of coming up with reforms but unfortunately among those proposed, the government has implemented a few and swept the rest under the carpet.
James Nkuubi , member of Network of Public Interest Lawyer (NETPIL) and a researcher , in his study entitled “Auditing the Auditors: Reflections of implementation of civilian oversight police reform initiatives in Uganda” stated that if majority of the reforms suggested by the commissions are put into practice, they will assist in demilitarization of the Police as well as liberating it from the Executive control.
“Every one wants Police to transform for the better but most if the initiatives that were suggested by justice Oda , Ssebutinde , even constitution pushing civilians to have an upper hand in oversight of police have never been worked upon. In particular establishment of Police services commission which would bring civilans in charge, of not only recruitment but training dismissal and demotion of police has never been implimented.”
He also pointed out that as NETPIL the only missing link towards improvement of the Police is the inclusion of civilians in the organization of Police because they are the number one beneficiaries of its services and they deserve the role of civilian oversight.
“We are looking into the possibility of pushing private members bill to establish police services commission because these were recommendations by Judicial Inquiries , these are by law and recommendations have to guide the public.”
Hon Muhammad Muwanga Kivumbi, the Shadow Minister for Finance who also served as the shadow Internal Affairs Minister suggested that the name of Police need to be changed from “Uganda Police Force” to “Uganda Police Service” if its service delivery is to improve.
“We tried to push for reforms in the Uganda Police for some years back , we had reached some where but as we talked about changing the name to service, the Inspector General of Police then referred it to undermine policemen by equating them to tea girls in a hotel.”
Muwanga Kivumbi also added that the Executive is taking advantage of the current laws to use Police in fulfilling its objectives.
Senior Commissioner of Police (SCP) , Dr. John Kamya Head of curriculum and Doctrine Development at Uganda Police in his submissions noted as the serving officers they are contented with the available mechanisms for checks and whoever is not happy with it should push for amendments.
“If you want Police to be civil , why would you place it under the Executive arm of government. We are handling Ugandans in the most civilized way.” he added