The Uganda Police Political Commissar, Asan Kasingye has directed regional police commanders from Kiira, Busoga North and Busoga East, to evict all senior police officers from the barracks to create room for junior officers and constables.
Speaking to journalists after holding a closed-door meeting with police commanders from the Busoga sub-region on Saturday, Kasingye says officers from the rank of Assistant Superintendent of Police-ASP are living illegally in the barracks, because they are given a housing allowance, which entitles them to rent houses outside the barracks.
According to Kasingye, it is unfair for senior police officers to consume space meant for junior officers who lack such privileges.
A police constable attached to Kiira police region who spoke on condition of anonymity says that he has failed to acquire a house within the barracks for the past 16 months.
“It is very hard to get housing space within the barracks because, on top of our senior officers taking up some of the rooms, several officers who were transferred years back are yet to relocate their families, so there seems to be no space left to accommodate some of us,” he says.
He adds that “My main challenge occurs during these standby operations, where I am tasked to stay with the gun in a rented room, it is uncomfortable for my civilian neighbours,”.
Kasingye states that, during his five-day tour of the different policing areas within the Busoga sub-region, some gazetted officers were still staying in police barracks despite earlier directives instructing them to depart.
Kasingye further argues that the process of evacuating officers from the barracks was launched several years ago but, due to weaknesses in command, some commanders are yet to enforce this directive.
He, however, stressed that, save for Jinja city, Kamuli and Iganga, the rest of the new districts lack housing units for the junior officers, arguing that, police authorities have appreciated this challenge and will devise means of addressing it.
Kasingye also reveals that the medical services directorate is devising means of constructing health units at all the police units within the new districts, to foster the health wellbeing of police personnel and their families.