In September last year, police recruited 4,500 Probation Police Constables (PPCs) and 500 Learner Assistant Inspectors of Police (LAIPs).
However, police found hard time when over five hundred of recruits were degree holders yet a maximum qualification for the applicants for the position of police constable was the ordinary level certificate while Learner Assistant Inspector of Police–LAIPs were expected to possess a Diploma in the fields such engineering, nursing, clinical laboratory and Information Communication and Technology-ICT.
In order to avoid the increasing number of petitions from officers accusing the police leadership of failure to recognise their ranks and pay them as professionals, management decided to single out all degree holders. Police signed agreements with More than 280 degree holders who joined the Uganda Police Force (UPF) in the recent intake have reportedly signed agreements agreeing to serve as police constables since they were over qualified for the job.
A senior police officer told this website that the police leadership directed the Commandant of Kabalye Police Training School (PTS) in Masindi, Abubakar Ziwedde, his deputy Romano Otoro and other senior police officers to ensure no degree holder passes out PPC or LAIP.
According to the source, management gave the trainees with degrees two options. One of the options was to allow those unwilling to serve as PPCs to quit the training while the other was that they stay but sign agreements committing to serve as Police Constables and never regard themselves as professionals.
“All of them agreed and they signed an agreement that they will serve as Constables. This was done because there are so many petitions coming from people who joined the police force as general duty officers but want to be paid as professionals,” a senior police officer said.
One of the PPCs now serving in KMP said they agreed to sign because they had completed the hardest part of the course including the 52 days of sleepless nights. “Once you complete military drills for 52 days you count yourself as a policeman. We couldn’t quit at that time,” he said told URN while wearing his blue camouflage.
According to the administrative police procedures, all degree holders are supposed to be recruited as Cadet Assistant Superintendent of Police. However, police have since stopped recruiting Cadet ASPs because of the huge numbers resulting from 2010 to 2015 intakes.
During Gen Edward Kale Kayihura’s reign as Inspector General of Police, police often passed out 500 to 1000 Cadet ASPs. Most of them haven’t been promoted. This has affected promotions for non-commissioned officers such as Constables, Corporals, Sergeants, Assistant Inspectors of Police and Inspectors of Police.
The development at Kabalye comes at a time when police management intends to conduct fresh training for 94 medical police constables to serve as professionals. The Director Police Medical Services, Moses Byaruhanga, says the medical constables joined the force as general duty officers as opposed to professionals.
According to Byaruhanga, trouble started when police advertised the general recruitment of Probation Police Constables –PPCs in 2016 but many professionals managed to sneak into the force. He says the medical police constables will now undergo the Officer’s Basic Course for six months and will be promoted to Sergeants or AIPs depending on the level of their qualifications.