Police has disputed the findings of a recent report that ranked the Uganda Police Force as the fourth worst police institution world over.
The World Internal Security and Police Index done by the International Police Science Association (IPSA) and the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) ranked Nigeria to have the worst police force in the world, followed by DRC, Kenya and Uganda.
Out of the 127 countries in which the surveys was conducted, Uganda came in 124th place while Kenya, DRC and Nigeria were ranked 125, 126 and 127 respectively.
The ranking was based on four key areas of Police’s human resource capacity, the efficiency of its case processing, its legitimacy and the outcomes of its processes.
According to the index, countries with flawed democracies turned out to be the worst performers while countries with stronger democracies and smaller populations performed better.
However, Police in Uganda has contested the rankings saying it should have performed much better than the index findings reported. Police spokesperson AIGP Asan Kasingye told the press on Monday that Uganda Police Force has built a strong capacity both human and non human than many African countries.
“The report dwelled on four domains; Capacity, Process, Legitimacy and Outcomes. And we believe that if we go by these domains like capacity, we should be one of the best in Africa,” Kasingye said.
“We have trained and recruited professionals in the Force. Our total number of police officers stands at 44,600 today. I don’t know what more capacity they needed,” the Police mouthpiece added.
He said that the Police through its Directorate of Research and Planning is studying the report in depth and will soon release its own findings.
“Our police is known regionally and internationally especially for its record on fighting terrorism. There’s no other police Force that has successfully apprehended and prosecuted perpetrators of terrorism like Uganda,” Kasingye said.
He instead blamed those who conducted the WISPI study for dwelling on Uganda’s political climate and what the media has been relatedly been reporting.
However, Kasingye admitted that Police in Uganda still has “a problem” in regard to its legitimacy and that “we are trying to solve it”.
Relatedly, Kasingye also watered down the report recently released by Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC) blaming security organs for the rearrest of four people suspected of murdering his predecessor AIGP Andrew Felix Kaweesi. The UHRC report among other things criticized Police for its involvement in the rearrest given that the incident occurred in the presence of police traffic officers.
“The arrest was done by Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI) and Police was in no way involved in the rearrest of these suspects. None of our officers was involved,” Kasingye stressed.
Kasingye refuted claims that the car used to transport the suspects after the brutal arrest belonged to the Police O.C Crime Intelligence for Jinja Road police station.
For many years, annual human rights reports released by UHRC have named police as the top institution that violates human rights.
He pointed out that often times, Police is wrongly accused for violating the constitutional 48 hour deadline for presenting suspects in court, claiming that circumstances like high magnitude cases and strikes by judicial officers work against the will of Police.
“Human rights campaigners think we like to hold suspects beyond the 48 hours but it isn’t the case. It affects our image and finances too because we spend a lot of resources on these suspects,” Kasingye said.
“These activists pile pressure on us to release suspects but then this threatens the lives of victims of crime. We can’t put every victim under Witness Protection Program because it requires resources,” he added.