In readiness for the 2016 elections, police will recruit at least 3,500 Ugandans beginning January 17 -21 to shore up its ranks countrywide.
"Interested people who want to apply should pick their registration forms from police division commanders and they should be holders of a university degree and have no criminal record," Police Spokesman Judith Nabakooba said in a recent statement.
She said out of the 3,500 recruits, police needs at least 3,000 probation police constables and 500 cadets. The last recruitment was carried out in 2010 ahead of 2011 general elections. At least 5,500 police officers were recruited.
Nabakooba was, however, quick to dismiss claims of favouritism in the recruitment exercise. In interviews with The Observer, some police officers, who declined to be named for fear of reprisals, said applicants aligned to the ruling NRM stood a big chance of being taken on and given good postings.
"Police bosses are very serious on this. After shortlisting the applicants, they use local councils, GISO and the village Movement chairmen to investigate and confirm if the applicant's parents are NRM cadres.
After verification, the applicant will be considered for training and they make sure that he or she passes all the tests," one officer said.
After training, the officer said, NRM cadres are deployed in better-paying areas.
"You find that these are the police officers who are deployed in Parliament, Anti-terrorism Unit, Uganda Revenue Authority, banks, embassies, hotels, NGOs and in other good organisations where they get allowances of over Shs 700,000 per month on top of their salaries," he said.
In response, Nabakooba said: "It's not true. We normally recruit officers after investigating their background from their home villages to get their criminal records and avoid recruiting officers with a bad image."
"The Constitution is very clear that the Uganda Police Force shall be nationalistic, patriotic, professional, disciplined and its members drawn from different parts of the country. This is why we go to different districts to give people a chance to join the force," she said.
Nabakooba also said the deployment of officers depends on their discipline, capability, and professionalism, monitored by their supervisors during training.
"In deployment, there are some professionals given special attention like doctors who are deployed in the police medical service, lawyers deployed in CID and legal departments and Information Technology (IT) deployed in the directorate of Information Technology," she said.
Nabakooba said other professionals would go for general duties and their deployment depended on discipline and excellent performance.