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MPs Protest Police Budget Cuts

By Jimmy Muhumuza

Parliament 

Lawmakers on Parliament’s Defence and Internal Affairs Committee have rejected the proposed budget cuts to Uganda Police Force, wondering why the budget for the Force is being reduced amidst the increase in crime rates and population in the country.

The concerns were raised in a meeting held between the Committee and officials from Uganda Police Force that had appeared to present their 2023/2024 National Budget Framework Paper. 

Documents before the Committee indicate that although Police sought for Shs2.902Trn for the 2023/2024 Financial Year, only Shs823.728Bn was approved, a decision that will see the Force operate with a shortfall of Shs2.078Trn.

Aggrey Wunyi, Under Secretary Police, informed the Committee that in the coming FY, Police has been allocated Shs383Bn for wages, Non-Wage Shs306Bn, Development Budget reduced from Shs254Bn to Shs134Bn that would stall the construction of housing facilities for the officers as well purchase of patrol cars which projects are all aimed at enhancing the capacity of Police.

Leading the criticism was Theodore Ssekikubo (Lwemiyaga County) who tasked Government to come honest and admit to a ploy to do away with the Police through budget cuts, instead of condemning the Force to such meager budgets.

He said, “In 2021/2022 Police was able to get Shs1.019Trn, in 2022/2023 Police got Shs975Bn, as I speak now it has gone far below to Shs802Bn. Crime is going up, but we are seeing the Police budget go down. You want to kill Police, you either tell Police we don’t want you anymore, or we be honest. And this is a soft way of killing Police, you are denying them the budget, you are denying them the capabilities and yet you want them to perform.” 

His sentiments were shared by Bashir Lubega (Mubende Municipality) who said the calls to have the budget for Police boosted need to go in tandem with accountability to ensure value for money.

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