The object of the Act was to amend the Police Act, Cap 303, to give effect to articles 211, 212, 213 and 214 of the Constitution; to provide for the integration of the local administration police force into the Uganda Police Force; the appointment and control of civilian staff in the Uganda Police Force; the amendment of the membership of the police council; to provide for powers of investigation of police officers and for other related matters.
Highlights of the Act
- The amended includes provisions to advise the President on the appointment of; the Inspector General of Police; the Deputy Inspector General of Police; Assistant Inspector Generals of Police; and Commissioners of Police. Also provisions to recommend to the Public Service Commission, the appointment and promotion of police officers above the rank of inspector of police, up to the rank of assistant commissioner of police.
- The amended provides for the administrative officers of police department and quorum of the Police Council to twenty-two (22) and give it powers to regulate its own procedure
- The act makes provision to recommend to the Public Service Commission, the recruitment, appointment and promotion of police officers up to the rank of inspector of police;”
- The act makes provision for the delegation by the President of power of appointment under the Constitution. Under the law, for the purposes of article 172 of the Constitution, the President may, under clause (3) of that article, delegate to the authorities specified in subsection (2), the powers of the President necessary to enable those authorities to exercise the powers of appointment conferred on them by this Act.
- The amendment Act also provides that where the President has delegated any of his or her powers, the Public Service Commission shall have no functions in respect of the exercise by the relevant authority of the powers so delegated.
- A police officer shall qualify for pension on the attainment of forty-five years of age if that officer has served for an uninterrupted period of at least ten years.
- According to section 15 of the amendment Act provides that, a police officer may not terminate his or her service with the force except on completion of a minimum of five years uninterrupted service, and with the written permission of the appointing authority.
- Any person who wilfully obstructs or resists any police officer charged with the execution of his or her duty commits an offence and is liable, on conviction, to a fine not exceeding two hundred thousand shillings or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year or both.
- The principal Act was amended by inserting immediately after section 27 the following new section— 27A on procurement of information and attendance of witness which provides that a police officer not below the rank of assistant inspector of police making an investigation into an offence may, in writing— require the attendance before him or her of any person whom he or she has reason to believe has any knowledge which will assist in the investigation; and require the production of any document, matter or thing relevant to the offence under investigation.
- Section 49 of the principal Act was amended in subsection (2) by substituting for paragraph (a) the following paragraph— a force headquarters, which shall also serve as a disciplinary court for any police officer, and for every person subject to the code, for any disciplinary offence committed anywhere in Uganda;”
- The principal Act was amended by inserting immediately before section 68, the following new sections— 67A about the local administration police. The local administration police force in existence immediately before the commencement of this Act shall continue to exist in accordance with this Act and shall be fully integrated into the police force as the local administration police. The local administration police shall be under the command and control of the inspector general who shall be responsible for all its operations.
- The Act provides for the administration and training of Police officers. There shall be a police officer, not below the rank of assistant inspector general of police appointed by the Public Service Commission on recommendation of the Police authority, who shall be responsible for the administration, training and operations of the local administration police.
Key Issues and analysis
The Police (Amendment Act, 2006 provides for the emerging and important matters that have for long affected the operations of police to fulfil its mandate to the citizens of Uganda. It addresses emerging issues including presidential appointments, retirement, public service commission, delegation and procurement of information. The Act establishes a disciplinary court at the Police Headquarters to handle issue against police officers among other developments
It is important to note, that this amendment has gone a great deal to streamline the operations of the Uganda Police for the last decade. However, there is a proposal for an amendment which seeks to make changes in the governance and administration of Uganda Police Force. Similarly, the new law will provide for other functions that Police is able to take on that are currently not provided for in the law.