Major General Kahinda Otafiire, the Internal Affairs Minister, has acknowledged the government’s desire to improve the welfare of police officers but emphasized the country’s resource constraints.
Addressing Members of Parliament on the Defense and Internal Affairs committee, Otafiire explained that while there is a willingness to enhance the police’s welfare, there are competing demands, including the needs of immigration officers, prison officers, and the National Identification and Registration Authority (NIRA).
During the committee session on January 10, 2024, legislators, including Theodore Ssekikubo and Betty Bakireke Nambooze, urged an increase in the Police Force’s budget. However, Otafiire highlighted the economic challenges faced by the country, emphasizing the need to budget according to available resources.
Otafiire, along with State Minister for Internal Affairs Gen David Muhoozi, presented the ministry’s indicative budget estimates for the 2024/25 financial year. The estimates indicated a reduction from UGX 975.414 billion in the previous financial year to UGX 896.565 billion in the ongoing fiscal year.
Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIGP) James Ochaya informed the committee about the impact of budget cuts on various aspects, including field operations, provision of housing and office space, fuel, lubricants, vehicle maintenance, utilities, and outstanding arrears. The crime prevention and investigation management sub-programme, responsible for intelligence gathering, countering terrorism, surveillance systems, community policing, and international information sharing, faced a significant budget reduction.
The reduction in funding has also affected the feeding of personnel in operations, receiving only UGX 45 billion out of the required UGX 91 billion.