Word in the corridors of power has it that the Uganda Police Force is rebranding. The word actually was announced by the Inspector General of Police during the launch of a six-month campaign; that mode of delivery doesn’t entirely count as ‘corridors of power’ but you cannot fault a columnist for trying to sound sophisticated.
At the launch, the IGP said, “The people of Uganda deserve better police services than we are providing now, we must admit that.” That is true-this is us clapping to that profound truth.
“It (the police) was used (by the British colonialists) to hunt down freedom fighters,” he said. Then responding to the spontaneous cheers erupting around the room, he added: “the police has not served the interests of Ugandans because its architecture and character was inherited from the British colonial police.” Stone silence. That’s an interesting take on things. Let’s look at a few other ways that phrase can be put.
Because of our masters, we, the police, spend Shs 2.5billion to quell a single riot because of the British colonialists. It is their fault.
We pay “ghost” police officers and fail to pay the real ones because of the things Sir Harry H. Johnston did to us. When we flag you down and expect a bribe even for smiling at you, it is because of the things those colonial masters did to us.
We won’t do any police work without “compensation”; photocopying a police report, investigating a crime or even recovering your property because they did this to us; they made us do this. Once in a while, we do beat-up some politicians in the opposition because of Captain Lugard’s rules.
The sorry conditions our police officers live in – those dingy facilities we have to cover-up with banners advertising soft drinks – that’s because of the 1900 agreement. This stands to reason since most of the said facilities were built by the colonialists so this is surely their fault.
Let’s also look at what else we can see as a direct result of “the architecture and character inherited from the British colonialists”. We have poor roads; they built some of them and they’ve never found time to upgrade them.
We have a failing health sector; they built some of the hospitals-it is their fault we have no drugs and doctors. Why didn’t they give us an abundant supply of either?
They even brought elections; it is their fault-we were doing just fine with monarchs.