Uganda: Police Short of Fuel As Power, Water Crisis Hits Barracks

Police barracks have no water and electricity while the Force is rationing fuel due to lack of funds, Daily Monitor has learnt.

For the last four months, the available fuel has been designated for emergency services such as handling riots, patrols and travels by senior police officers.

Police commanders at lower levels have resorted to fuelling the police cars using their salaries or funds from the community.

Nsambya Police Barracks, which is the biggest police accommodation facility in the country, has gone nearly four months without power and water. Other barracks are also facing similar challenges.

Police spokesperson Fred Enanga said he needed to inquire about the issues.

"I need to find out why," Mr Enanga said yesterday.

Umeme, the power distributor, said Nsambya Police Barracks is on prepaid meters as per the Finance ministry guidelines and the police exhausted all their credit.

Mr Stephen Illungole, the Umeme spokesperson, said police promised to upload credit this week and power will be restored by Friday.

"It is a government policy to have prepaid meters on all police facilities. When credit is used up, they lose power. We also have emergency credit services, but when we contacted police to give the barracks power as they look for funds, they refused because they want to manage their bills well," Mr Illungole said.

Recent accusations

Police management have always accused officers at Nsambya Barracks of misusing the water and power by illegally connecting civilians outside the barracks.

But according to the Auditor General's reports, the funds the Finance ministry provides for water and power to the Force can only cover seven to nine months of a financial year.

Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga last week wondered why police had no money for water and power yet the House passed a supplementary budget for their operations during the coronavirus lockdown.

She ordered a selected team of MP to visit the affected police barracks to establish the extent of the problem and report back to Parliament. The team is yet to release their report.

At Prince Badru Kakungulu Road near Nsambya Barracks, families of police officers have been fetching water from a spring.

The spokesperson of the National Water and Sewerage Corporation, Mr Samuel Apedel, said the Ministry of Finance credited the barracks' account but there is a leakage that has affected the system.

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