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Uganda: Jinja Police Barracks in darkness for two months

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About 2,000 policemen residing in Jinja Barracks have reportedly gone without power for about two months and accused their immediate authorities of not taking matters seriously because they do not stay in the barracks with their families.

Some of the officers, who explained on condition of anonymity, said the lack of power has increased on thefts within the Barracks and also left officers donning un-ironed uniforms.

“We have been in darkness for the last two months (September and October); some of our bosses who are supposed to push for reconnection of power do not stay in the barracks, so they are not affected,” one of the police officers said.

According to Daily Monitor report seen by NCMP, one of the top officers, who also declined to speak on record, said communication has also been affected because officers’ phones are always off whenever they are called to respond to incidents, claiming it has been left somewhere to charge.

Another Police source also revealed that because it is widely understood that the barracks don’t have power, some officers deliberately switch off their phones such that they cannot be reached for emergency assignments.

Mr Abbey Ngako, the Kiira Police Spokesperson, confirmed that Jinja Police Barracks has not had power between September to-date and the police leadership in Naguru is aware.

According to Mr Ngako, while the aggrieved officers are right to complain of the darkness in the Barracks, they are responsible for the situation because of their alleged failure to utilize the units for the second quarter that should have lasted for three months.

He further explained that some of the officers in the Barracks have electric equipment like coils which are prohibited from being used because of their high consumption of electricity, since the Barracks is connected by prepaid (YAKA).

“Efforts are being made to ensure that power is reconnected; however, they should not blame Naguru but they for being irresponsible by using coils to cook,” Mr Ngako added.

He further accused some officers of having businesses within the Barracks like saloons and kiosks, all with fridges.

However, Mr Stephen Ilungole, the Umeme Manager Public and Media Relations, said the Barracks run out of credit.

“They’re on prepayment like you and me; so when the credit is depleted and not replenished, you go off. The good news is that the police leadership is frantically looking for money to replenish the Nalufenya account,” he said.

Adding: “This is not the first police barracks to use up their credit. If you bother to crosscheck, there could be others with similar issues.”

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