KAMPALA – The fight for space between serving and retired police officers – including their civilian relatives at Nsambya barracks is interesting.
Whereas one groups is loyal to the commandant of the barracks ACP, Amos Gumisiriza – another is opposed to his method of operations – especially allocating space and housing units in the barracks.
Those opposed to Gumisiriza claim acquiring the plots where they built their temporary structures (makeshifts) and housing units from his predecessor, SSP Juma Okungo, who retired last year.
As soon as he took over from SSP Okungo last October – Gumisira targeted civilians related to serving officers, as well as retired police officers who were still occupying housing units.
Gumisiriza reasoned that he could not allow civilians to occupy units meant for police officers or occupy space where serving officers could erect makeshifts houses for their accommodation or small businesses.
“If you are a son or daughter to a serving or retired police officer and you are now an adult, what are you still looking for in the barracks? You are not a police officer, why should you have a house in the barracks when police officers do not have one?” queried ACP Gumisiriza during an interview.
The opposing group comprises over 20 civilians, retired and serving police officers – who front Steven Kafuko – whom we learnt is a son of a serving female police officer – currently stationed at Jinja Road Police Station in Nakawa Division in Kampala.
Kafuko is the chairman of the Nsambya barracks zone whose re-election is under contestation at the Makindye Magistrates’ court.
Kafuko insists that ACP Abbey Kisubi allocated him a house in 2019. Kisubi was then, the commissioner in charge of barracks administration – and indeed a copy of a letter dated April 12, 2019 in, which the ACP affirmed his stay in the said house is accessible.
This letter was copied to the Assistant Inspector General of Police –AIGP Human Resource Administration – HRA then Moses Balimwoyo, and AIGP in charge of Chief Political Commissariat CPC then, Asan Kasingye. Both have since left the police force.
In his letter Kisubi justified his decision to allocate Kafuko a house – saying that the Chairman living outside the barracks was challenging to attend to civilian matters within the barracks. At the time, Kafuko was living in Kansanga.
“Having consulted and analysed the role played by LCs in the barracks, we find it reasonable for the Chairman to make himself available within the local community where services are required so that he gets to understand the dynamics of our people. By copy of this communication, you are directed to urgently identify office accommodation for this purpose,” noted Kisubi.
But on December 29, 2022, Gumisiriza issued an eviction notice to Kafuko after allocating his house to a police officer at the rank of ASP. Kafuko said by the time he returned from the Christmas holiday, he found his household items outside.
“The house was broken into in my absence and my items were thrown outside. I am not illegally living in the house. It was allocated to me. It is now a month and I cannot access some of my items because there is a new padlock,” said Kafuko.
Both serving and retired police officers have also complained of similar action. In his response, Gumisiriza said Nsambya barracks is home to about 15,000 people with the majority being relatives of both serving and retired police officers.
Gumisiriza insists that if someone’s father or mother retired from the force or the person who came in as a child is now an adult – they cannot enjoy privileges meant for serving police officers.
“I know Kafuko had been allocated a house and he has been living in it as this area’s Chairman. But he is no longer the Chairman. The voters challenged his election. No one should occupy a house or allocate himself space without any justification,” said Gumisiriza.
Inspector of Police –IP Byamugisha who is one of the most cited in the fracas, said he identified an empty space, applied to the barracks commandant and it was allocated to him.
“When you identify space, you write to the commandant. He sends his team or visits the site to find out. I followed the procedures and I was allocated space,” said Byamugisha.
But the affected police officers and Kafuko insist that Byamugisha demolished a community leadership structure and erected his makeshift rentals – which were built with wooden poles and iron sheets.