KAMPALA – The just released Auditor General report has pointed fingers at United Nations for scrupulously swindling land belonging to Uganda Police.
The details are contained in the December 2019 audit report authored by Auditor General, John Muwanga who recently handed over the report findings to Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga, who subsequently referred the audit findings for scrutiny to the respective accountability Committees.
Muwanga highlighted, “Part of the police land was given to the United Nations African Institute (UNAFRI), a UN agency for crime prevention and the Treatment of Offenders. UNAFRI has had limited impact and provided no support to the Uganda Police in the areas of crime prevention or the treatment of offender. In addition, the land in question has now been leased to third party tenants.”
It should be recalled that Uganda was selected by the Conference of Ministers of ECA in April, 1989 as the host country of the Institute.
Accordingly, Police offered 5 acres of land next to the Force’s headquarters to UN to construct a vast complex of offices, classrooms and residential buildings at Naguru, formerly a Senior Police College in Kampala for housing the Institute.
The global body’s website further indicates that the Uganda Government has already invested and continues to invest heavily in making the Institute’s Secretariat at the Naguru Complex, physically and infrastructually useable.
The audit report also highlighted that Police owns a total 825 parcels of land of different sizes in the different parts of the country and of these, only 230 (28%) pieces were titled, 187 (23%) pieces were surveyed while 408 (49%) pieces were not surveyed or titled.
In FY2018/2019, UPF constructed on 7 parcels of land in the year, which did not have titles, thus risking the loss of such land in case of disputes.
The Uganda Police Force’s arrears have continued to skyrocket with the latest development indicating that the Force’s domestic arrears increased by Shs5.45Bn from Shs161.047Bn in 2018 to Shs166.502Bn in 2019 with the arrears remaining unsettled at the close of the year.
The report also highlighted that funds amounting to Shs24.454Bn were irregularly diverted and spent on other activities without seeking the necessary approvals.
The audit team also noted shortcomings in the implementation of the provisions in the circular standing instructions on staff performance management with gaps identified include; non-completion of Performance Agreements, no quarterly reviews undertaken, no performance improvement plans prepared, non-submission of reports on Performance Agreements, Performance Appraisals, Performance Improvement Plans to MoPS and lack of mechanism to monitor staff attendance.
Police’s Court Awards Arrears stood at Shs890.624M with a budget provision of only Shs300M made towards settlement of the outstanding arrears.
Uganda Police lacks a rental management policy and as such, procurement of up to 440 rental premises in 2018 were not guided by the rent policy and neither were the places included in the procurement plan for the year.
The Auditor General also highlighted that the Force is chocking with a high number of broken vehicles in the fleet because over the last four years, the UPF fleet size has grown by 56.2% to 2,190 while the fuel budget has reduced by 56.1%.
Over the same period, the vehicle maintenance budget has reduced by 21.8%, a development that has seen the number of inefficient and broken down vehicles increase and the condition is worsened by the absence of an approved policy for managing the fleet.
The Force was also found to be chocking on case backlog investigations with the report highlighting that over a five-year period, UPF has only managed to investigate 60% or 755,342 reported cases out of a total number reported cases over the same period of 1,251,344.
The slow investigation progress was partly blamed on insufficient staff with the audit team noting that the recommended case load per investigator at 1:45 is above the recommended case load of 1:12.