By TOM MALABA(The Daily Monitor)
Nearly Shs20b meant to facilitate investigations of cases by police’s Criminal Investigations and Intelligence Directorate (CIID) for the last seven months is unaccounted for as outgoing police chief Gen Kale Kayihura leaves office.
The ministerial policy statement for the Internal Affairs ministry for the financial year 2017/2018 indicates that Uganda Police Force committed Shs35b of its more than Shs600b budget to fund activities at CIID headquarters, but the money has reportedly never been put to use.
Sources at CIID headquarters revealed they have never received any financial releases since the beginning of this financial year, with detectives reporting to work at 10am and sitting idle as there are no finances to facilitate investigations of cases.
Last week, President Museveni dismissed Gen Kayihura as Inspector General of Police and replaced him with his former deputy, Mr Martin Okoth Ochola, amid escalating cases of crime involving kidnaps for ransom and killings.
Running for seven months without money has left the once active directorate a shadow of its former self, with vehicles recovered in the commission of crime rotting on the CIID compound.
Also, an unspecified number of other vehicles attached to the CIID have broken down and are parked in the compound.
“Since July, we have been operating without money,” one of the detectives, who declined to be named said, adding that zealous detectives now use their own money to process urgent case files.
The senior detective blamed the lack of money on the bad blood between the former Inspector General of Police and the Director CIID, Ms Grace Akullo.
Detectives revealed that the former IGP had created a small unit at Naguru – Special Investigations Division – headed by Mr Mark Odongo that the outgoing IGP had funded to investigate high profile cases.
“If you think we are lying, ask the CIID director whether she has ever seen the case file for the murder of [Assistant Inspector General of Police] AIGP Kaweesi,” one senior detective said.
Kaweesi, his driver and bodyguard were killed in a spray of bullets by unknown assassins at Kulambiro in Nakawa Division on the outskirts of Kampala as he left home for work on March 17, 2017.
When contacted for a comment on the missing funds, Mr Emilian Kayima, the police spokesperson, remained non-committal on the issue.
“Is someone complaining that there is no money? Has the complaint reached the appropriate office?” Mr Kayima asked.
But a senior detective insisted that cases of murder, robbery and corruption are being investigated by only a select number of detectives working with Mr Odongo.
“The situation is so bad that detectives lack paper and pens to record statements from complainants. There are detectives with cases to investigate upcountry, but they cannot travel because of lack of money,” he said.
Other senior detectives, who declined to be named, corroborated the claims, saying the directorate was so broke that even government departments with cases to investigate have to fund their own investigations.
“The Ministry of Health and OPM (Office of the Prime Minister) wanted us to investigate their cases, we gave them a work plan against which they gave us money,” a detective said.
The detective worried that such a situation would compromise the integrity of their investigations.
“What if there are questions to be asked to officials funding the investigation? Such an investigation would highly be compromised,” he said.
Even without putting to any clear use the money previously allocated to them, the police have asked for Shs48b to fund investigations in the coming financial year. According to the paper, the CIID needs Shs2.1m to investigate a capital offence.
Of the 2,326 cases of homicide, 3,620 of robberies, 9,998 of fraud, eight of terrorism and 9,598 of defilement, only 2,308 (9 per cent) of the cases could be investigated, leaving a backlog of 23,242 (91 per cent) cases.
According to the police budget, part of the Sh48b would go into investigating a backlog of 300,000 cases.
Two weeks ago, Gen Kayihura told a Police Council meeting that 20 Police Directorates would not receive any funding.