KAMPALA – Legislators on the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) have quizzed officials from Uganda Police Force over the utilization of Shs37b meant to prevent the spread of Coronavirus pandemic after complaints emerged that some of the frontline officers are being denied their allowances by the top managers.
Uganda Police officials had appeared before PAC on Friday to respond to the December 2019 audit report queries, a meeting that saw MPs task the officials to clarify on complaints by the police officers.
Asked by PAC Chairperson, Nandala Mafabi to respond to complaints by its officer’s overpayment, Brigadier Jack Bakasumba, Chief of Staff, Uganda Police blamed the complaints on what he calls errant officers who have ignored channels of addressing their grievances and instead resorting to media.
Bakasumba said, “This money has been handled in the most transparent way ever seen by Police. The units are then tasked because we send them for each officer is Shs11,000 and Shs12,000 for other officers and it indicates who got and which amount. Of course, you are hearing these complaints from some of these indisciplined officers, because we have clear chains of communication, if you have been underpaid by your immediate commander, then submit the complaints through headquarters through the right channel.”
Bakasumba added that some complaints are emanating from all officers wanting to benefit from the money, even those not deployed within the COVID-19 pandemic line of duty noting, “We got Shs4.5b, that money isn’t enough for the entire Force. We have paid over 33,000 officers. Most of the officers there are happy. I don’t think Government is able to pay all officers Shs80,000 for 90 days. But what is happening is that every police officer wants to benefit from that money even the ones attached to Parliament.”
Parliament appropriated Shs37b to Police in the fight against Coronavirus and of this amount, Police budgeted Shs76.8M for Advertising and Public Relations, Shs480M for printing, stationery, and photocopying, while Shs4.012b was to be spent on special meals and drinks for the frontline officers.
Additionally, Police set aside Shs1.813b for medical and veterinary supplies, while cleaning and sanitation would account for Shs4.371b yet uniforms, bedding, and protective gear would cost Shs11.578b.
The other money was Shs3.439 meant for expenditure on fuel, oils and lubricants, while Shs6.413Bn was spent on maintenance of fleet while classified expenses would cost Shs5.280b.