Police Finding It Hard To Fight Bribery - SIU Chief

4648 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
The Uganda Police Force is still finding it hard to arrest members of the public who bribe officers to influence investigations, release them on bond or implicate someone wrongly in criminal cases.

The Uganda Police Force is still finding it hard to arrest members of the public who bribe officers to influence investigations, release them on bond or implicate someone wrongly in criminal cases.
 
In January this year,  Dr. Yovani Lubaale, a Quantitative research Analyst released a report showing that the Uganda Police Force is still the most corrupt of all the 15 institutions in the Justice Law and Order Sector (JLOS).
 
Following the release of the report the Inspector General of Police General Kale Kayihura, who up now is not convinced his institution is the most corrupt, formed two teams to investigate corruption in the force.
 
One team headed by Kayihura’s Deputy Okoth Ochola has to find out why police officers solicit and receive bribes, while the other team headed by Commandant Special Investigations Unit Beata Chelimo is to net the bribe takers and givers.
 
Speaking to Uganda Radio Network at the Special Investigations Unit – SIU headquarters in Kireka, Chelimo explained that deterring the public from giving police bribes is still hard because once they agree nobody will complain.
 
Chelimo says it’s only when the public complains that she gets to know where to look for the corrupt officers.
 
Chelimo blames the prevalence of corruption on the mindset of Ugandans who think they cannot get a service without giving a bribe.
 
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Cue out: …giving him money.”//
 
Chelimo says the police are mandated to do the job they should do and if the public think the police are not doing their job let them report to the Professional Standard Unit - PSU.
 
She says they have arrested police officers who have solicited and received bribes from members of the public. However, she acknowledged they are still finding an uphill task to arrest members of the public who give bribes to police officers.
 
Chelimo says claims that it is because of poor welfare that police officers take bribes do not count. She says to improve police welfare needs time and resources and that it’s being worked on.
 
Police has taken six people to court in 13 cases that they have handled among whom were those who were involved in conspiracy to take bribes, and destroy evidence among other cases.
 
Some cases have been referred for disciplinary action especially those who did not follow procedures or acted in a manner discreditable to the force.