Corruption our top problem – IGP Ochola

The Inspector General of Police, Mr Martin Okoth Ochola, has named internal corruption in the Uganda Police Force as their biggest challenge.
While addressing regional police commanders and heads of department at Bwebajja Police College yesterday, Mr Ochola named 12 challenges of the police and said fighting corruption among police officers is still an uphill task.

“The institution encounters a number of challenges that include corrupt practices of selling police services like police bond, Police forms, criminalisation of civil matters, extortion on roads,” Mr Ochola said.
Late last year, Mr Ochola ordered traffic police director, Dr Steven Kasiima, to investigate more than 100 traffic officers after drivers and motorcyclists filed complaints accusing police of extortion.
At least 20 implicated traffic officers were transferred to upcountry stations while others have been suspended pending prosecution on corruption charges.

In May last year, Mr Ochola stopped all police stations from selling police medical forms but his directive was defied as most stations still ask complainants to buy the forms at Shs1,000 and Shs2,000 and continue to extract unrecorded fees from suspects who seek bond.
Besides corruption, Mr Ochola cited indiscipline, violation of human rights, laxity in handling assignments, staff welfare and capacity gaps as some of the other difficulties faced by the force.

“We have capacity gaps in terms of professionalism in training, skills development, mind-set, use of robust scientific methods of intelligence gathering and crime investigation, among others,” he said.
He said his target is to transform the police into a modern professional, service-oriented and pro-people force.

By JOSEPH KATO

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