SOME wives of Police officers at Naguru barracks yesterday complained to parliamentarians that they are sexually starved due to accommodation congestion.
The wives, who preferred anonymity, said they cannot make love in the presence of their children with whom they share single-roomed houses, commonly called ‘maama ingiya pole,
An angry mother of four explained that she and her husband only have sex during the school holidays, when the children have gone to the village.
“Honourable members, you are all parents. But in situations like this, how do you make love when the children are almost under your bed?” she asked in Luganda.
“I am sexually starved. I am a human being like any other person, and I am not certain about the future of my marriage.”
The revelations came during a tour by MPs on the special parliamentary committee probing Police conduct, promotion, training and welfare.
The complaints about deprivation of sex were mainly raised in Naguru barracks, which has a population of over 15,000. During the impromptu tour, the MPs discovered that Naguru had some of the most congested and dilapidated barracks in the city.
Another housewife in her early 30s said she is in a marriage where she does not enjoy her conjugal rights. She told the MPs that she can only engage in sex with her husband quietly in order not to awaken the children.
“After failing to find a solution to the poor accommodation in the barracks for years, we resorted to performing sex very quietly, which makes it boring. How can you enjoy a meal when none of you is saying a word?” she asked.
Guided by Sgt Twinomujuni Odomaro, the MPs discovered that four constables share a unipot and sleep on mats without any mattress.
One of the constables told the MPs that when they want to make love with their girlfriends, they negotiate amongst themselves and allocate time to each other. Some constables who got married resorted to constructing their own mud-and-wattle houses in order to have privacy, he added.
The MPs found one constable in the barracks building his own house while two others were digging a pit-latrine.
“I am tired of sharing the kibati (unipot). I want to marry but I can’t marry in a shared unipot,” James Ekeram, a probation constable, told the MPs.
The MPs also found two families sharing one room which they had demarcated with curtains.
“Originally, there were three families here, but one family has relocated to a new hut they constructed,” Odomaro said.
Some houses in Naguru were so rundown that the roofs, made of iron sheets, were partly gone.
Odomaro explained that new unipots had been set up at the barracks to cater for the new constables who had completed the training in 2007 but they were not enough.
In Ntinda barracks, the next stop on the MPs’ tour, Police constables were found housed in a structure with walls made of iron sheets.
Corporal William Tumutungu, who has served in the force for 22 years, said it was impossible for the Government to fight corruption in the Police without improving their remuneration and welfare.
At Nsambya barracks, home to about 10,000 people, the MPs found the Police dogs better accommodated than the staff. The compound at the dog’s wing was partly tarmacked and partly covered with well-kept grass. The houses for the constables, in contrast, had sewage flowing and were packed one-roomed hovels.
The MPs received a hostile reception from the constables present, who accused them of criticising them while not doing anything to improve their plight.
“You are just looking at the way we handle you during arrests. But when you don’t feed your dog, what do you expect it to do?” one of them, Bosco Winyi, asked.
Another policeman heckled the visitors, saying their monthly salary was just enough to pay for the MPs’ breakfast. They complained that Parliament had not increased the Police budget to cater for new houses. Police constables, corporals and sergeants are paid between sh154,000 to sh200,000 a month.
After the tour, the MPs promised that they would highlight the problem of accommodation in their report to Parliament. Some were so shocked that they suggested seeking audience with President Museveni over the matter.
“We discovered two families in one room, one with four children and the other with nine children. This is serious and something urgent has to be done,” Peter Nyombi, the committee’s chairperson, told journalists.
Police spokesperson Judith Nabakooba said while the force gives priority to accommodation, it faces constraints of inadequate funding.
The number of Police officers in the country doubled in the last three years to handle the growing number of cases, from 18,000 to 37,000.
and Catherine Bekunda
PARLIAMENT has finally passed a law that provides for dual citizenship. The new law, however, prohibits holders of dual citizenship from serving in key political and security offices.
The new legislation, the 2008 Uganda Citizenship and Immigration Control (Amendment) Bill, only awaits the President’s signature to become operational.
If signed, it would be welcomed by Ugandans in the Diaspora who have been asking for dual citizenship for years.
At the fore-front of this request were the Ugandan North American Association and the Gwanga Mujje group, which organise annual conventions in the US.
Former internal minister Ruhakana Rugunda last year assured Ugandans in the Diaspora that the law would be enacted.
“The dual citizenship and permanent resident status are meant to re-establish full citizenship of Ugandans living abroad and facilitate their entry and exit from the country by removing immigration barriers,” Rugunda told a meeting in Merryland in the US.
On Thursday, the defence and internal affairs committee presented a report to Parliament after which the MPs passed the law with amendments.
“Many of our people in the Diaspora have lost citizenship due to lack of an enabling law providing for dual citizenship. This Bill intends to give such people opportunity to regain Ugandan citizenship,” Mathias Kasamba, the committee’s chairman, noted.
“The legislation will also give citizenship to none-Ugandan nationals who are making enormous contribution to our nation, and would wish to attain Ugandan citizenship.”
Positions which people with dual citizenship cannot hold include the Presidency, the Prime Minister, ministers, the Inspector General of Government, the head of the armed forces or commanding officers.
They can also not head the Police, any of the intelligence organisations or departments responsible for records, personnel and logistics in all branches of the armed forces. Matsiko Kabakumba, the former government chief whip, said the Bill was a response to the public outcry for dual citizenship.
“A citizen of Uganda of 18 years and above who voluntarily acquires the citizenship of a country other than Uganda may retain citizenship of Uganda,” the new law states.
However, there are a number of requirements to become a Ugandan citizen. Applicants must not be engaged in espionage against Uganda or have served in the armed forces of countries at war or hostile to Uganda. They need to have a clean criminal record and should not be bankrupt.
The applicant must also be above 18 years, be of sound mind, and hold only one other citizenship from a country which permits dual citizenship. In addition, non-Ugandans must prove that they are not being deported from any country and are not under a death sentence or imprisonment exceeding nine months.
They must also have been resident in Uganda for over 20 years, and for 24 months running just before the application. The applicants must know at least one prescribed Ugandan language, English or Swahili.
Additionally, the applicants should possess “substantial amounts of money lawfully acquired and be willing to take the oath of allegiance”.
Okello Okello (UPC) said he was not convinced that the country stands to gain from dual citizenship. “I don’t believe one has to be a citizen to invest in a country. The big known investments here are by non-citizens,” he observed.
Charles Angiro (Independent) expressed concern that Uganda would see an influx of citizenship-seeking foreigners. “One million Chinese or a quarter of Rwandan nationals may apply for Ugandan citizenship arguing that they helped liberate Uganda in the Luwero triangle war,” he noted.
Beatrice Anywar (FDC) argued that Ugandans living abroad should come back proudly as Ugandans without any conditions.
“In the North, where we have had war, people left the country for different reasons. That means they are at the mercy of those making the law.”
Alex Ndezi (NRM) warned against “monetising” citizenship.
Sunday, 12th April, 2009
WOMEN Police officers have complained that they are sexually harassed by their male bosses in order to be deployed or promoted.
Some of the women officers said they had been denied promotions for rejecting sexual advances from their superiors, with some stuck at the same rank for over 27 years.
The officers disclosed their plight during a meeting with the Inspector General of Police, Maj. Gen. Kale Kayihura, at the Kibuli Police Training School playground on Friday.
The women officers were from the Kampala metropolitan area that covers Kampala, Wakiso and Mpigi districts.
Some of the female officers sobbed as their colleagues narrated the ordeal they had gone through under their brutal male bosses.
The complaints included poor personal and general conditions in the force.
Many cited sexual harassment, victimisation over simple mistakes, poor housing and living conditions, failure by their supervisors to recognise their plight especially when pregnant, lack of uniforms, missing salaries and failure to be promoted.
They said bosses refuse to deploy them for ‘juicy’ assignments after disagreements with them.
Some said they had been deliberately undeployed for years for small mistakes, while others had discovered malicious reports in their confidential files.
At least 45 women aired out their complaints as the Police chief, who braved the scorching sun, jotted down notes.
He overruled the police spokesperson, Judith Nabakooba, who had suggested that some of the complaints were too personal and needed to be communicated in privacy.
Detective Nora Asiimwe said many of her colleagues were sexually abused and contracted the HIV virus.
“Due to sexual harassment, many of our colleagues get infected with HIV/Aids and can’t be admitted for refresher courses. They end up getting frustrated, which has discouraged many other young women from joining the force,” she said.
She also reported that pregnant officers are maliciously assigned duties that require physically fit personnel.
More tears flowed as Sgt. Shellie Namita Onega of the police band narrated that her bosses forced her to pay for a music instrument she accidentally broke while on duty and that since 2007, she has neither been deployed nor transferred.
“I have been victimised for no good reason. I’m not deployed yet I’m a single mother with five orphans to look after. I have never been promoted for the 27 years I have served the force,” she said.
Another police woman, Lokisa Sande, also wondered why she had never been promoted yet she had served for over 35 years.
Catherine Nampindi, who is attached to the Police Standards Unit, said although Kayihura had directed that she is promoted after serving for 12 years, her name was again deleted from the list of candidates.
Kayihura had ordered her promotion following her petition last year. Nampindi joined the force in 1994 with a diploma.
Baker Isabirye, in charge of the family protection unit at Wandegeya, said she had been victimised for filing a case against the former Mukono Police commander, James Aurien, over defiling her housegirl.
Aurien is currently facing charges of murdering his wife.
“I discovered several blackmail letters in my file,” she said, adding that she had not been promoted for 15 years. She said many male Police officers above the rank of Assistant Superintendent of Police commit serious offences but are not prosecuted.
ASP Womagye, attached to Mpigi police station, said her boss declared her a “deserter” on her return from a military training course at Kyankwanzi last year.
“We are being sexually harassed, oppressed, marginalised and demoralised, especially by those ‘God Fathers’ at the headquarters and our immediate supervisors,” Nalongo Leila Dralo said.
Some said they had been forced to share rooms in the barracks with men.
The Police women said following up their missing salaries was a nightmare and wondered how the force would attract educated women when those serving were being subjected to inhuman treatment.
Another police woman confessed it was her first time to speak to the Police chief, saying she had been scared by others that Kayihura would never listen to any complaint.
“This is an Easter gift to allow us to express ourselves without the presence of our bosses who have oppressed us for a long time,” another said.
Kayihura said he would not tolerate such acts in the force and vowed to dismiss any officer who demands sexual favours from his juniors. “Anybody who demands sexual favours from any woman officer will be dismissed.”
He promised to investigate all the cases presented to him for appropriate action.