A number of people from Teso want the name of the Uganda
Police Force changed to Uganda Police Service.
This follows Constitutional Amendments, 2019 proposals spearheaded
by the opposition Members of Parliament. The team, recently in Soroti has
triggered a debate on proposal, with many agreeing to the change.
Legislators, from opposition parties are holding
consultation meetings in different parts of the country argue that police
brutality is meted on civilians because it is called a “force”, something they
note is unfortunate.
The legislators also argue that the word ‘force’ is attracting
soldiers into police, that they note has been militarized. The proposal has
widely been welcomed by different people in Teso who claim that the change will
bring sanity to the police.
The mandate of Uganda Police Force as provided in the
Constitution of the Republic of Uganda, and Uganda Police Force Act Cap 303; is
protection of life and property, prevention and detection of crime, keeping law
and order, and maintenance of overall Security and Public Safety in Uganda.
Peter Lochom, from Kumi district says the name given to the
police is compelling police to act militarily. Lochom explains that police lose
its meaning of protect and serve when it turns to brutalize citizens.
// cue in “Changing this name…
Cue out…never used to be this brutal”//
Sous Peter Olinga, a resident of Kasilo in Serere district
wants the amendment to restrict appointment of soldiers into police. He agrees
to changing the name of the police force to police service.
// cue in “The name force…
Cue out…cross to police”//
Stella Isodo, a politician from Ngora district says that changing
of police force to police service will make police responsible and accountable
to Ugandans. Isodo, who has no kind words for the police force notes that
police service proposal is timely.
// cue in “My thinking is that…
Cue out…in this country”//
However, Moses Otekat, a resident of North Division in
Soroti Municipality says changing the name doesn’t change the image of the
police. He wants the amendment to instead focus on changing command of the
// cue in “Changing the name…
Cue out…but it’s now army”//
In 2014, former Inspector General of Police, Kale Kaiyura rebranded
police to Uganda National Police following concerns of brutality in the police.
Much as he said that the Uganda National Police name would be reflected in the
Constitution, the changes are yet to take shape.