IGP Ochola summons 306 Over corruption in Police

Okoth Ochola with Sabiiti Muzeyi

Following emerging lapses in the investigation of cases across the country, a total of 306 senior Criminal Investigations Directorate (CID) detectives have been summoned for retooling. Sources say the decision to re-train CID chiefs is rooted in the need to curb a wide number of challenges and complaints from the public that CID cops are colluding with criminals.

The issue of corruption within CID ranks is the other issue that the three-week training retreat, which starts tomorrow, will tackle. Top bosses summoned for the retreat include CID top management, heads of department, regional CID officers, district/divisional CID officers, OC CIDs of some main stations and border posts as well as heads of investigation in ministries, departments and agencies.

Regional Police bosses have since been ordered to fully inform their CID personnel under their command to attend the three-week non-residential course on anti-corruption at the CID training school at Kibuli, Kampala.

“Our theme for the CID retreat, which was adopted for the year, is enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of the CID,” the CID chief, Grace Akullo, said, adding that capacity building in the investigation is part of the training process at the retreat.

A recent report from CID to the Inspector General of Police, Martins Okoth Ochola, noted that many detectives have been accused of extorting money from witnesses and complainants to facilitate investigations and personal needs.

Extortion of money from suspects on Police bond, stealing of exhibits, bribery and limited knowledge of criminal investigation processes are the other allegations that the public and top Police leadership say CID officials engage in.

The report notes: “Officers are turning into “debt collectors” in cases of Obtaining Money by False Pretense’, to have a share of the collected amount, supervisors at various levels receiving extorted money from their juniors, thereby failing to punish errant/corrupt officers and detectives are escorting suspects to ATMs to withdraw money for Police Bond.”

A report on CID also revealed that “some detectives steal case files from their colleagues since they sit in open offices or do not have lockable desks, while others extort money regarding cases which they are not handling behind the back of the case officers.”

The current capacity of CID offi cers is 5,166, instead of the approved 14,000, a trend that leads to poor investigations and case backlog. The UN standard ration is 1:12 cases per detective per year. However, the current average is 23 case files per detective.

However, in areas with high crime rates, such as Kampala, Mukono, and Wakiso, detectives handle between 50 and 70 case files per year. The Police are also concerned with the poor outlook of some detectives.

To close the gaps, CID has also issued guidelines, including providing a robust feedback process for victims of crime to ensure effective investigation and complaint management.

“The effective feedback process will help guard against complaints of mismanagement of cases, soliciting bribes, failure to arrest suspects, the questionable release of suspects, bias during investigations and many others,” a report to the IGP noted.