Police has explained the evictions of several officers in the barracks of Nsambya, Kireka, and Naguru.
Police spokesperson Fred Enanga says the Uganda Police is managed based on several enabling laws and regulations including the Constitution, the Police Act and Police Standing Orders which qualifies it in all aspects as a disciplined force.
The barracks, which is typical for police accommodation, is an entity with clearly laid out procedures and regulations commensurate with force policy.
Currently the standards of accommodation especially in the greater Kampala Metropolitan area had lagged behind officers’ expectations in terms of conditions.
This was majorly due to the underfunding of the accommodation budget.
As a result, the force in its commitment to provide the best possible accommodation for its personnel came up with a housing policy that largely entailed a program of building 10,000 new housing units to modern standards under the private public partnership scheme in the Kampala Metropolitan area.
This involved the removal of large numbers of properties to create space for construction, as well as carry out major refurbishments of existing blocks that are not due for replacement.
Enanga said the first phase of the project at Naguru police barracks, involved further relocation and decongestion of officers to pave way for the construction of 1,024 apartments in Naguru (128 3-bedrooms and 896 2-bedrooms).
He said the project that had all along been delayed by lack of an enabling public private partnership law since 2013, when the first batch of officers was relocated to Busunju and Bombo barracks, is expected to commence in June 2016.
“Again, during October, 2015, more officers were informed of plans to further decongest the barracks where a survey team established that the barracks of Nsambya , Ntinda and Naguru had several occupants who were not eligible, that included families of officers transferred to upcountry stations, biological children above 18 years, civilians including private security guards who were renting units in the barracks, widows and widowers, gazetted officers among others who were all asked to vacate the barracks.”
He explained that the level of congestion and existence of ineligible persons especially civilians posed a security risk as well to the Police Headquarters, as criminals including terrorists could easily take advantage of the prevailing conditions at Naguru.
“In due process, a total of 451 officers who were initially transferred out of Kampala were relocated to their new stations i.e. In January, 2016, a total of 136 personnel were relocated, in February, 2016 a total of 97 police officers were relocated, in March 2016, a total of 89 personnel were relocated and another 129 officers were relocated in April 2016. All these have since settled well due to good and comfortable housing units newly constructed in various upcountry stations.”
In the housing masterplan, the first phase of construction strategy is targeting 1000 units for eligible officers within the greater Kampala area.
The artistic impression of the apartments is attached. Priority is also given to Senior Officers above the rank of Assistant Superintendent of Police to access affordable home ownership schemes, since they are not eligible for barracks accommodation as per the public service review policy of 1996, where housing allowances were incorporated into their monthly salaries.
“The police are therefore aware of the importance of accommodation in aiding cohesion, attracting and retaining sufficient, capable and motivated personnel. And as we switch our focus to bring new houses up, we aim to reach a further milestone with all our personnel occupying standard homes. “
Enanga said the decongestion and relocation exercise is still ongoing smoothly, and it is important to note that all personnel affected were made aware of these plans since 2013.