Kampala — Government will recruit 80,000 police officers ahead of the forthcoming 2021 general elections, Sunday Monitor has learnt .
A total of 70,000 Special Police Constables (SPCs) will be recruited towards elections and an additional 10,000 who will join the existing regular police force, which is about 44,601, will be recruited next month to keep law and order in the country.
But due to limited facilities, police management has decided to start with 6,000 police personnel.
"We could not recruit all of them at once because the 10,000 people we want to start with cannot fit in Kabalye (police training school). That's is why we decided to split them into three groups, one group will be trained in Kabalye Training School in Masindi. Another in Ikafe in Yumbe and the other group will be in Olilim Police Training school in Katakwi," the source revealed.
Police sources told Sunday Monitor that government has already released the required funds to start the exercise. Police will mainly target Senior Six leavers.
Police spokesperson Fred Enanga at the weekend confirmed the recruitment of 10,000 police personnel.
"Right now it's on paper, we will put out a communication when funds are released before sending out recruitment teams at districts," Mr Enanga explained.
The police personnel will also be deployed to police the 19.4 million voters (according to the new Electoral Commission roadmap) who will be electing 1.5 million leaders right from the grassroots.
In December last year, EC released its roadmap to the 2021 general elections anticipating a voter growth of 4.2m.
The EC expects that districts will grow to 141 by 2021 up from 121 in 2016, while the municipalities will increase from 39 to 80, sub-counties from 1,398 to 2,000 and parishes from 7,431 to 9,500.
Villages will also increase from 57,842 to 65,200 and polling stations are expected to rise 35,000 from 28,010 of 2016. Police authorities say they need manpower to provide security in all these places and ensure stability.
According to police sources the increase in the polling stations and voters require that the Police gets prepared early to avoid any security breaches.
According to the 2015/2016-2019/2020 strategic policing plan, the police has a strength of 44,601 personnel instead of the recommended 74,002. Going by these figures, currently there is a police manpower gap of 29,401 personnel.
This puts the policing ratio at 1:829 instead of 1:500 which is the recommended International Standard. Police requires Shs14.1b to meet its annual manpower training needs.