Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Police leadership has resolved to retrain 94 medical Police Constables so that they can be elevated to ranks befitting their qualifications.
The decision to retrain the Constables comes at the time when policemen and women who joined the force in June 2015 with medical documents have expressed concern over not earning salary nor holding ranks matching their colleagues’ of the same qualifications.
“It is now four years but we are earning like general Constables yet we are medical workers and we are offering professional services. None of us has been promoted and we don’t know why our commanders are not rectifying these issue. We need entitlements of professionals just like our colleagues,” a frustrated medical professional told Uganda Radio Network- URN.
Some policemen and women have threatened to quit the police if their grievances are not handled by force’s leadership. One of the affected police officers said they were even missing out of professional allowances despite their files reading that they are medical workers attached to police health facilities.
“We have tried to be patient but our patience is running out” another police officer said. Why should we earn 400,000 shillings yet our colleagues are earning more than twice? If things do not change, we are ready to quit the force.”
In response, Assistant Inspector General of Police – AIGP Dr Moses Byaruhanga, who is the director police health services, urged the policemen and women to be patient because a solution to their queries has been reached.
AIGP Byaruhanga said trouble started when police force advertised for a general recruitment of Probation Police Constables –PPC in 2016 but professionals also ended up joining the force. This, according to Dr Byaruhanga, was noticed during training.
“During the training issues started coming up,” AIGP Byaruhanga said. “Police verbally promised that they would be regularized. They were 94 and they completed the training as general PPCs. The verbal promise did not come into effect. As directorate of health services we requested that they be deployed into health services.”
The Police Advisory Committee –PAC has also debated the medical Constables’ issues but resolved that it is difficult to make them skip two or three ranks to match their qualifications. A professional who joins police with a Certificate is passed out a Police Sergeant –Sgt while a Diploma holder who joins a professional, starts at the rank of Assistant Inspector of Police –AIP.
However, for a professional to start at the rank of Sgt or AIP he or she must have done an Officers’ Basic Course- OBC. This is why police force reminds the public to always read recruitment adverts carefully to avoid joining wrong intakes.
“They did a course for general Police Constables. They did not do a course for officers. We as management, have decided that they must do an OBC. They cannot skip the ranks. That course is supposed to be done,” AIGP Byaruhanga said.
Although a general AIP earn close to 600000 shilling every month, medical workers of the same rank earn 1 million shillings and allowances of 66000 shillings while professional medical Sgt bags 800000 per month. The retraining course for medical Constables is expected to start in the next three months. It will last for six months at Kabalye Police Training School in Masindi district.