Police manpower audit unearths ghosts on payroll

Thousands of names on the police payroll could be ghosts which when proved to be true will imply that over the years, billions of taxpayers’ money have been spent on the payment of salaries of non-existent police officers.

According to an April 24 internal police message  from Police Human Resource Management (HRM) sent out to Inspector General of Police Martin Okoth-Ochola, his deputy Maj Gen Sabiiti Muzeyi, Police directors and unit commanders indicates that over 10,000 police personnel have pending queries but 1,042 missed last year’s manpower audit.

The said police officers are of various ranks, the most senior of them being at the rank of Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) to lowest rank of Special Police Constable (SPC).

According to the communication, the more than 1,000 officers could be deleted from the force’s payroll since they missed out on the manpower audit.

The 1,042 officers include 8 Superintendents (SPs), 30 Assistant Superintendents (ASPs), 10 Inspectors of Police (IPs) and 40 Assistant Inspectors (AIPs) who have been asked to report to the Police headquarters at Naguru with genuine reasons as to why they missed the personnel head count.

The letter titled Human Resource Management 144/225/01 Manpower Audit, directs all unit commanders to refer their surbodinates to police headquarters not later than May 2 to explain where they were during the headcount.

“The under listed personnel under your units missed headcount that was conducted in June 2018. You are hereby required to match them to police headquarters HRM manpower audit and give exclamation about their whereabouts on the day of headcount. Whoever will not be matched as instructed will be presumed to be AWOL [Absent Without Leave] and will be deleted from payroll,” the communication partly reads..

IGP Martin Okoth Ochola ordered for police manpower audit in June last year after it was reported that more than 3,500 police officers had deserted the force between 2015 and 2018.

Former Inspector General of Police, Gen Kale Kayihura, in his handover speech said he had left a police force that had increased from 14,000 at the time he took over in 2005 to 44,600 in March 2018.

Late last year, media reported that manpower audit had revealed that Gen Kayihura’s figures were less by 8,000 policemen a claim that was not denied nor confirmed by police authorities.

Field Force Unit (FFU) has the biggest number of police officers listed for removal from payroll at 385, Anti-Stock Theft Unit (ASTU) 72, Directorate of Logistics and Engineering 44, Kira Road Police Station 41, Very Important Protection Unit (VIPPU) 38, Tourism Police 18, Jinja Road Police Station 17 and Kira Division Police headquarters has 14.

The Criminal Investigations Directorate (CID) has 13 detectives whose whereabouts are unknown, Human Resource Administration (HRD) 10, Counterterrorism 12, Aviation Police 9, Crime Intelligence 9, Flying Squad 7, Presidential Protection Guard (PPG) 5, Interpol Police 5 and Music Dance and Drama 4.

Mbale tops upcountry districts at 16, Tororo 11, Jinja Central 11, Kamuli 11, Mayuge 10, Namayingo 10, Abim 10, Masaka 9, Rakai 8, Iganga, Bukedia and Kaabong all have 7 police officers pending removal from payroll.