Police to recruit 5,000 constables for 2021 polls

Okoth Ochola with Sabiiti Muzeyi

The Police is set to recruit an additional 5,000 Police constables to help in policing the 2021 general elections. Last year, the force recruited 5,000 officers who are currently undergoing training.

“There are 5,000 cadets undergoing training and they will be passed out mid this year after which 5,000 more will be recruited to begin training,” Okoth Ochola, the Inspector General of Police (IGP) told Parliament.

Ochola made the remarks yesterday while appearing before Parliament’s committee on defense and internal affairs.

The IGP and his deputy, Maj. Gen. Sabiiti Muzeyi, had escorted the state minister for internal affairs, Obiga Kania, to defend the ministry’s budget for the financial year 2020/2021, as presented in the National Budget Framework paper.

Obiga Kania said there is 43,000 Police personnel serving in the force, which he said is low compared to the over 40 million Ugandans.

Ochola noted that most of the officers were deserting the force for other employment opportunities, which he said has created a vacuum. He said the force was interested in recruiting Ugandans that have completed O’level.

Citing the recent battle between People Power’s Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine, where the Police blocked the latter’s consultative meetings, MPs implored it to refrain from using excessive force.

MPs also asked the Police to explain why they had blocked Bobi Wine’s consultative meetings, even after the Electoral Commission had cleared him. James Waluswaka (Bunyole West MP), said it was wrong to stop Bobi Wines’ consultative meetings, noting that such actions taint the image of the Government.

“I am not happy with the way you handled our fellow MP. I hope that Bobi Wine will be left alone to do his consultations and leave his fate to the voters,” he said.

In response, Obiga Kania clarified that with co-operation with the Police, the force has on several occasions cleared the Opposition to carry out its meetings without any interference. He cited the Forum for Democratic Change meeting at Mandela National Stadium, Naboole last year, which went on uninterrupted.

Obiga Kania noted that following a meeting with Bobi Wine, the Police and the Electoral Commission, it was agreed that he drafts a new program for his consultations, which he said will not be disrupted by the Police.

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Muwanga Ronald is editor in chief of the UGANDANZ news website. He was formerly editorial director of UGANDANZ.COM, overseeing the publication’s digital operations. Before joining UGANDANZ in December 2018, Ronald was managing editor of NILE HOST In 2014, he was a finalist for the UJA Awards for Young Journalists for his reporting on the women's emancipation. Under his leadership NILE HOST won Media Industry Newsletter's Best of the Web award in 2018. A graduate of Makerere University, Ronald speaks Luganda and French and lives in Kampala with his wife and two children.