SABIITI LOCKS DOWN MAK POLICE, RECALLS OFFICERS FOR FRESH REDEPLOYMENT
By Wafula Malik
For some time, the new police leadership has been holding meetings with Makerere top management with DVC (F&A) Prof William Bazeyo being the contact person. As soon as he took office, the new IGP Okoth Ochora assigned his deputy Mzee Sabiiti to engage with Makerere to devise ways on how the two institutions can work together better and more closely. It was during those meetings that Sabiiti realized Makerere bosses had some genuine concerns. One of the policing-related grievances was that some of the police officers had stayed for too long at the Makerere police station and had become complacent towards work. A recent incident saw thugs break into top management bosses’ vehicles during a heavy downpour as the officials attended a top management meeting in the Main Hall. The vehicles had been parked in the parking lot between freedom square and main building but to the surprise of everybody, Makerere police couldn’t catch even one thief yes the vandalism was massive. On another occasion, thieves were caught in broad day light trying to vandalize and steel University property and steel bars that had just been installed around one of the gates. As the University local security led them to the police station, the thugs confessed being in cohorts with some influential officers at the Makerere police station. They were released shortly after and the case died a natural death. “We have been working with them. We vandalize people’s cars and go to Kiseka to sell the spare parts and share the proceeds with them,” one of the men confessed.
This information reached Bazeyo who swiftly shared it with Sabiiti resulting into the Makerere OC a one Kasibante being recalled for redeployment. Sabiiti couldn’t believe all these crimes happening and being reported and yet nothing was being done. The other thing that greatly irked Okoth Ochora was being told that for close to 10 years now, the Makerere management has been paying a top up of Shs300,000 over and above the salary each of the officers gets from the UPF payroll. This is how an extensive inquiry was commissioned and it found this was one of the reasons why many of the long serving policemen at Makerere always resisted transfer. It was also discovered that having stayed and served in Makerere for such a long time (mostly between 13-20 years), some of the policemen and officers had even clandestinely taken up some of the University’s houses and criminally rented them out to students and in the process making a lot of money. “They are supposed to reside in the houses attached to the police station but in practice many had taken up University houses using underhand methods,” said a source adding that this partly was due to laxity in the University management especially the office of the DVC (F/A) and the estates department that is mandated to keep proper records of all University property including the houses. In order to end crime that has been rampant at Makerere, quite often committed by thugs with full protection of the police leadership, OMO and Sabiiti resolved to recall all the police officers and men working at Makerere to be redeployed elsewhere. A new team will be assigned and we are reliably informed this move to recall all long serving policemen has actively been supported by Makerere DPC Enock Abeine.
Sources say that when he was VC, Prof Ddumba Sentamu vehemently opposed the idea of wasting University funds paying a monthly top up of Shs300,000 for each policeman at Makerere. Ddumba considered it wasteful and even demanded an explanation from Prof Barnabas Nawangwe who was then the DVC F&A. Ddumba put his concerns in writing and required Nawangwe to explain in writing. In his written explanation, Nawangwe explained this had been decided during a management meeting that occurred when Ddumba was away as VC. The old man from Masaka didn’t lightly accept this. He wrote back a strongly-worded letter in which he accused Nawangwe of insubordination and this monthly remuneration remained one of the unresolved sticky issues until Ddumba ceased to be the VC Makerere University. The two professors went as far as accusing each other of relying on doctored minutes to make their case. For comments, reach us on 0703164755.