By Solomon Hamala
The Director Welfare, Production and Sports in the Uganda Police Force has warned police officers that those who remain unfit will not be promoted.
AIGP, Andrew Sorowen sounded the warning yesterday 30th March, 2021 while addressing police officers at Namutumba Central Police Station.
He said police officers who dodge taking part in weekly physical fitness drills will not be promoted on duty following a recommendation by the police council highest organ.
“It’s now mandatory for every police officer to engage in weekly physical fitness drills every week but some are dodging,” he said.
Sorowen said the weekly physical fitness drills will help the Police Force reduce expenses on treating its staff on simple ailments like hyper tension, diabetes and instead divert the funds towards improving on their welfare.
“Some of our officers are falling sick because they don’t take part in the weekly physical fitness drills,” he said.
He also warned Secretaries against blocking members of the public from accessing offices of their superiors saying anyone found guilty risks facing disciplinary action.
Sorowen said majority of people are being blocked from accessing offices of senior police officials yet they have very vital information that can help improve on the operations of the force.
“They start asking people whether he or she has an appointment with any senior official in the police force which is bad,” he said.
Sorowen said members of the public should be allowed to access offices of senior police officers in districts because they provide vital information and it creates a link between the force and locals.
“Members of the public feel proud whenever they are given audience to present their issues other than barking them off,” he said.
He cautioned police officers against extorting money from members of the public in order to provide services saying the habit is tainting a negative image of the force.
“People think everyone in the police force is corrupt which creates a negative impression,” he said.
Sorowen urged police officers to embrace government programs like EMYOOGA, operation wealth creation instead of relying on salary alone saying this will help reduce on the rampant cases of corruption.
The Resident District Commissioner Namutumba, Sempala Kigozi expressed concern over the increase in cases of petty theft in the district.
Kigozi said during the past three weeks, the district security committee had registered 245 cases of cattle goats’ theft.
He urged government to construct shelter for police officers as a way of reducing on the rampant cases of absenteeism from duty besides urgent response to emergencies.
“These police officers are scattered everywhere making it hard to respond immediately whenever need arises,” he said.
The Regional Police Commander East Busoga, Anatoli Katungwesi said the two districts of Namayingo and Bugweri will have their office blocks constructed with support from government.
The Mayor Namutumba Town Council, Godfrey Mubesi expressed concern over the delay by the top management to reward long serving police officers.
“Some of these officers have been serving for a very long time but cannot be promoted while the new ones get instant promotions,” he said.