Opinion: Another bad Ad-Hoc Policy from Museveni – 20 Police Officers to 1671 sub-counties!
“President Museveni has directed the police leadership to deploy 20 policemen per sub-county and facilitate them with two motorcycles for patrol and easy mobility. This as he castigated the Uganda Police Force for sticking to the conventional methods of policing amidst dynamic modern crime trends. This as he closed the 25th police council meeting at police headquarters in Naguru” (NBS Television, 19.11.2019).
Before we look into the new directive of President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, we can by the statistics of the Electoral Commission in 2016, estimate that there is 1403 sub-counties, as there is 112 official districts by 2016 alone. There been since then more created and awaiting more before the 2021 general elections.
By this its 1403 times 20 police officers, the grand total of 28,060 police officers. Which should be trained, stationed and paid for. By 2015 statistics there is already, all in all 44,897 police officers. That means half of them will go to sub-county level. Also, in 2015 there was a total of 1399 police posts all across the republic, which there is a lack of enough stations for all the ones whose suddenly deployed elsewhere. As well, as by the 44,897 officers only about 7,000 had supported housing. The Police Force is already underpaid and understaffed for the amount of work it has. With the new directive, the Police Force needs more police posts and more accommodations.
If we follow the Electoral Commission of 2018, then the numbers of districts are 122 and the amount of sub-counties is 1671. By the measure of police officers is then 33,420 who has to be deployed sub-county level. With that in mind, the numbers are even worse. We can imagine the even more lack of housing and police posts for them to be in. Not to think about the movement of them all. Not to imagine all them who are in special units, special training and whatnot. As there are detectives and whatnot in the police force. Not like these wants to end in Kagadi, Serere or in Lira.
With the knowledge of deploying 20 per post, which exists now, there is only capacity of 27,980. That’s with the knowledge of the 1399 posts, which exists now. But the ability to build more, must be a priority and also station it sufficiently across the sub-counties. If this policy should make any sense.
Unless, this is a political gamble and a election ploy to gain rural voters. Because, this is not only to combat crime, but show the needed amount of force. From the same presidency, that already lack the funding to pay Local Defence Units (LDUs). The same one that didn’t do enough for the Crime Preventers in the previous election cycle. This is a continuation of that.
With that in mind, I have to quote Finance Minister Matia Kasaija:
“We have discovered that many politicians simply agitate for the creation of new administrative units for creations of jobs. We already have 300 new sub-counties and 200 town councils, to get money for them to operate is a big problem” (Wilson Manishimwe – ‘Gov’t stuck with 300 newly created sub-counties’ 18.09.2019).
Seems like the President is busy creating jobs, but not having money to operate them. There are enough things that lacks funding and with this, is yet another government post, which lacks fiscal funding. Unless, the State House breaks the bank and use less on travel expenditure or payments of salaries for any of the Presidential Advisors. The Police Force might have some added funding. I am just smirking, but we know the gist.
The President is acting all out, doing quick-fix orders, ad-hoc without any thought of the budget nor implementation. It is just a snap of a finger and then suddenly things start to move. Peace.