Police Officers’ Poor Accommodation Case Flops Again

The case challenging the poor accommodation of Police officers has again flopped due to the absence of the presiding Judge Douglas Singiza.

According to information from the Court registrar’s office, the judge is busy handling cases arising from election petitions.

Human Rights Lawyer Steven Kalali sued the government last year for its failure to provide proper accommodation for police officers especially the low-ranking officers. He said, their right to live in a healthy environment was being violated and asked the court to order that government provides proper accommodation for them.

Kalali says that he visited some Police Barracks such as in Jinja, Nsambya, Ntinda, Naguru and Mbale, and established that the officers and their families were made to sleep in tents or mud houses unfit for human habitation. Others, he says,  share decker beds with their children.

Kalali is also concerned about the police officers’ poor pay with the lowest ranking officer, a police constable, earning 470,000 Shillings per month followed by a Corporal, who earns 530,000 shillings, and a sergeant, who gets 570,000 Shillings.

The next officers in ranking are Assistant Inspector of Police and Inspector of Police, who earn Shs456,000 and Shs520,000 per month respectively.

In November last year when the case was scheduled to come for hearing, it was reported that the judge was attending a training away from town. Today, the case was again scheduled but it didn’t because the judge was busy with other cases.

The Petitioner, Steven Kalali expressed frustration over the delay of the case saying that Justice to the affected people is being delayed. He says that he had not even been served a copy of the response from the government until today (Thursday) when he came to court for the case hearing. 

In the Attorney General’s response, government has acknowledged the need but added that there are mechanisms in place to help mitigate the housing deficit such as pursuing external financing through supplier credit which entails contractors pre-financing building projects and reimbursements are made at a later date.

Government also plans to construct homes for police officers on a yet-to-be-identified plot of land in Kampala Metropolitan area.

The matter has been adjourned to 9th April 2023.

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