The chief of joint security, Maj Gen Jack Bakasumba, last week released close to Shs 3 billion for both senior and junior police officers incorporated in the COVID-19 national task force and joint security task force.
The money was for 25,977 police officers who have been performing various roles implementing the anti-coronavirus guidelines. Bakasumba’s letter indicated that each senior officer was to receive Shs 120,000 while junior policemen and policewomen were supposed to receive Shs 110,000 each for the 10 days.
Bakashumba explained that the money had been sent to the respective stations where the officers are attached. Besides, he indicated that it had been distributed according to the number of police officers attached to task forces from every station.
Three days after the money had been disbursed, police officers complained that they had been ordered to sign for Shs 50,000 while others were told to sign for Shs 70,000 instead of the full amount.
A source revealed that by the end of last week, the number of complaints had reached 700 but it jumped to more than 1,000 by Wednesday this week.
“Several officers are complaining that they are being told to sign half of what they are supposed to get. Others say they haven’t received the money yet it is more than a week since the allowances were delivered at various stations. This is why IGP has ordered for an impromptu probe by PSU,” a source revealed.
Dr Moses Byaruhanga, the director police medical services, says that have received several complaints and a probe is underway. Professional Standards Unit (PSU) is commanded by assistant commissioner of police ACP Sarah Kibwika.
Uganda police force received a supplementary budget of Shs 37 billion to cater for COVID-19 expenses which include allowances for police officers, procuring gloves, fuel, food and masks. Even though the latest figures indicate police force’s numbers at 41,760, Bakasumba released allowances for only 25,977 people.
According to Bakasumba’s statement, some of the police units show all their officers incorporated in the joint security task force. For instance, Counter-Terrorism’s entire force of 4,483 was involved in COVID-19 operations, followed by Anti-Stock Theft Unit (ASTU) with 1,150 officers, 999 Patrol Unit with 289 and Air Wing with 36 personnel.
Counter-terrorism took the biggest share of the allowances with Shs 496.9 million, Kampala North region Shs 193.9 million, Rwenzori East region Shs 146.5 million, ASTU with Shs 126.7 million, while Greater Masaka region took Shs 120 million.