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Attorney General to Court: Dismiss Police Officers Dilapidated Accommodation Case :: Uganda Radionetwork
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Attorney General to Court: Dismiss Police Officers Dilapidated Accommodation Case

"The units available for accommodation is 17,472 of which 6,945 are permanent and 10, 527 are semi-permanent and the key challenge in meeting the Force's accommodation needs is annual capital development and maintenance budgets." - AIGP Richard Edyegu, Director of Logistics and Engineering in Uganda Police Force
The Attorney General Kiryowa Kiwanuka

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    The Attorney General has asked Court to dismiss the case in which lawyer Steven Kalali sued the government challenging the dilapidated accommodation structures of the Uganda Police Officers.  

The Attorney General says government has budgetary constraints but it is in the process of ensuring that the accommodations are constructed and improved gradually.

The government’s response stems from a petition filed a year ago by Lawyer Kalali seeking court to order the government to immediately provide decent housing for all police personnel in Uganda.

By the time Kalali petitioned Court, a group of legislators had visited Jinja Police Barracks where they were greeted with dilapidated structures built-in 1934. In addition to the sorry state of the houses, Jinja Police barracks is home to 1,662 people as opposed to the planned population of 249 people.

As such, Kalali argued that since the promulgation of the 1995 Constitution, police officers have continued staying in dilapidated structures unfit for human habitation. He supported his petition with photos of dilapidated housing units in Mbale, Jinja and Nsambya Police Barracks and the Auditor General Reports for 2012, 2016 and 2020, which pointed to the sorry state of the police barracks and have been ignored.

He told Court that Uganda is a signatory to Regional, International and treaties, which emphasize the right to a healthy environment and that the Uganda Police Force receives budgetary allocations annually part of which should be used by the welfare department to cater for the well-being of the officers.

He asked the court to safeguard the rights of police officers as provided for in the constitution saying in places like Nsambya Police Barracks, the officers share decker beds with their children, which clearly infringes on their right to privacy.

He also complained that there is no security of family life as the housing structures are dilapidated and characterized by poor drainage and sanitary facilities among others which is unlawful.

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  Luganda Audio.

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  As a result, on Wednesday, the parties: Kalali the applicant and the Attorney General's representative State Attorney Moses Byamugisha appeared before the Civil Division Judge Dr Douglas Singiza for further hearing of the case and were asked to file written submissions by June   and then judgement will be in September 1st 2023.

    But in a response to the case which Uganda Radio Network has seen, the Attorney General while relying on an affidavit of AIGP Richard Edyegu the Director of Logistics and Engineering in Uganda Police Force wants the case dismissed with costs on grounds that Kalali's prayers can be implemented by the government in a gradual process.

Edyegu  contends that the current units available for accommodation is 17,472 of which 6,945 are permanent and 10, 527 are semi-permanent and he knows that the key challenge in meeting the accommodation needs of Uganda Police Force is insufficient annual capital development and maintenance budgets.  

  He noted that the overall budgetary allocation for construction of police housing has since 2017 been increasing gradually and in 2021/2022 Financial Year 38 billion shillings alone was allocated to police for staff accommodation. 

 

"That I know that the allocation for staff accommodation of 38 billion shillings is an all-time high and can construct up to 826 housing units at a rate of 46 million per unit," reads Edyegu's response.

According to Edyegu, given the resource constraints faced by Uganda Police Force, the fulfillment of ensuring accommodation for all eligible police officers can only be achieved and realized over time.  

He adds that there is an annual allocation of 2 billion shillings which is being utilized to carry out major renovations of the various barracks and they are engaging several stake holders to ensure that the allocation is increased to enable construction of more housing units annually. 

 

He says that in 2020, at least 3.9 billion shillings was budgeted and used to provide support to police officers to construct their own houses. 

 

As such, Edyegu says, he has been advised by his lawyers from the Attorney General's chambers that the government has not in any way violated the right of officers good, clean and healthy environment.

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