KAMPALA – A group of crime preventers who supplied food to different police units across the country between December 2015 and 2017 have threatened to pitch camp at different police stations until they are paid a total of Shs 14.5b from the force.
The suppliers under National Crime Preventers Forum told journalists on Tuesday that they were contracted by the Exodus SACCO, owned by the police to supply food to different police stations on instruction from the then IGP, Gen Kale Kayihura, but since then, they have not been paid.
The chairperson of the group, Mr Ronald Muliisa Rwamakuba, said that since the removal of the former police boss, Gen Kale Kayihura, the new police leadership has turned hostile to them and their attempts to engage them have proved futile.
He said their attempts to meet the President to raise their complaints have also been frustrated by the police bosses.
Last year, another group of contractors stopped supplying food items to the Uganda Police Force have with immediate effect over accumulated arrears.
They were demanding about Shs33 billion from the force for supplying food since 2015. They also accused then IGP, Gen Kale Kayihura of favouring crime preventers and Exodus SACCO and refusing to pay those who have legitimate contracts with the force.
The suppliers numbering up to 596 members took the decision to stop supplying the force in February 2018 at a general meeting held at Speke Hotel, Kampala.
“We have stopped supply of food stuff to police with immediate effect, starting from now. We are writing a memorandum to the speaker of parliament, we are writing to the minister of internal affairs and all government agencies to ensure that our money is paid,” Mr Badru Kisitu, the chairperson of police suppliers’ association said.
Mr Kisitu said the situation has become horrible.
“We are wondering why we are not paid in time, yet police gets quarterly money like other ministries. It’s only in police that has not paid,” he said.
“We have supplied beans, rice and posho for all these years and none of us has received money for the supplies made. Where does the police expect us to get money to run our businesses?” he wondered.
He said many contractors are choking on bank loans and are at the verge of losing their property to the banks. Mr Kisitu said crime preventers have been advanced billions of shillings yet those who have genuinely supported the force over the years are being forced out of business. “Why is it only us who are not being paid? Why does he pay the crime preventers and neglect us?” the chairperson questioned.
The members said they had received intimidation from the police officers each time they demand their money.
One supplier who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of his security said he was demanding Shs400 million from the police. He said he sold the food to police in 2016, but since then, he has only received Shs10 million.
“My business is collapsing and yet when I went to police, the IGP refused to pay my money but instead told me to go to court,” the source said.