The Savannah Regional Police headquarters in Luwero town has finally been commissioned, 12 years after the construction works kicked off. Savannah Regional Police comprises Luwero, Nakaseke, and Nakasongola districts.
Construction of the Savannah Regional Police headquarters started in 2010 with support from the Justice Law and Order Sector (JLOS). However, JLOS stopped funding the construction in 2014 and the work stalled before completion.
Felix Baryamwiseki, the Deputy Director of Estates and Lands Management in the Uganda Police Force, says that since then, Uganda Police Force has been asking the government to take over the completion till funds were released in the financial year 2021/22.
Baryamwesiki says that the construction of the two-storied building resumed in March 2022 and was completed in July this year. On Monday, Assistant Inspector General of Police, James Ocaya, the Director of Research, Planning, and Development in the Uganda Police Force commissioned the building on behalf of Inspector General of Police Martin Okoth Ochola. Ocaya explained that in 2010 JLOS had promised to construct four model Police Stations in Kira, Kajjansi, Savannah, and Kiboga.
He however noted that the implementation stalled at Kiboga and Kajjansi over the absence of land titles. He explained that they were also unable to complete the construction works at Savannah Regional Police headquarters because of the change in designs, which forced the force to appeal to the government to complete the structures.
Ocaya tasked the Policemen to use the offices to offer quality services and ensure proper Maintainance.
Ocaya noted that JLOS spent Shillings 1 billion on construction before they stopped the funding and the government released an additional Shillings 750 million to complete the works. The two-storied building will accommodate Luwero District Police Station and the Savannah Regional Police Offices, whose officers have been occupying three rooms at Luwero district local government.
Policemen and Local leaders in Luwero are excited about the commissioning of the regional police headquarters building. But they have asked the Police to also construct quarters for the 978 Police personnel spread in the region.
Erastus Kibirango, the Luwero District LC V chairperson, says that the majority of the Police personnel operate in dilapidated units whereas others have nowhere to stay, something that contributes to indiscipline in the force.
Ignatius Otong, the Savannah Regional Police Commander, says that although Police has constructed their Regional headquarters as well as Central Police Stations in Luwero, Nakaseke, and Nakasongola Districts, there was a need to budget for accommodation as well as offices for lower stations. Otong explained that they have already built 16 Unipots and efforts are underway to erect another 131 uniport units across the region as a temporary measure to address the accommodation crisis.
Ocaya said the IGP is committed to improving the welfare of police, but he is struggling with limited funding.