I am pleased to announce on behalf of the leadership of the Uganda Police that we intend to celebrate our centenary anniversary (i.e 100 years in existence) this year. The celebrations will involve commemorative events covering a period of 6 months beginning on 25th May 2014 with the finale, which will mark the highlights on 3rd October 2014 during the Independence anniversary celebrations week.
In fact, we should have celebrated this major historical milestone in 2006 since Uganda Police Force was born on the 25th May 1906 as a constabulary. However, because of understandable reasons, especially the national elections, then later, preparations for CHOGM, and the public order challenges, and then 2011 elections and associated challenges that engaged us. More important, we were still nomadic with no permanent place of abode. Now that we are settled, with a permanent address, the Police Council in its last sitting during the retreat, late last year, decided that we cannot let such an important milestone in the history of the Uganda Police pass unnoticed. Note that the Golden Jubilee of the Uganda Police was celebrated in 1956.
We have reason to hold these celebrations. First of all, that we have travelled this long journey of now 100 years or so, with all the trials and tribulations, and survived is not a small achievement. In fact, in a way it is a celebration of the journey Uganda as a modern state has travelled since the Police is a critical pillar of any state. We have seen a number of states in Africa and in other parts of the world crumble. That we have gone this far is a cause for celebration. Moreover, we have not only survived but, in spite of the challenges we have faced as a country, especially since 1962, we have developed, and there are visible achievements, and more, recently transformation of the Police institution, and policing as a system, away from the repressive type of police introduced by the colonial regime to a pro-people, accountable, disciplined institution, with modern capabilities to deal with modern day crime and security threats.
Secondly, it is to take stock of our achievements as well as our failures, learning lessons from the long and rich experiences of policing in Uganda, especially since 1962, and launching a Rectification campaign aimed at building on our strengths, and eliminating our weaknesses and shortcomings in providing police services to the country.
Thirdly, the celebration will, also, offer an opportunity to reinvigorate the community policing system of policing which is a proactive approach to policing through promotion of partnerships, popular vigilance and problem solving through community policing.
Fourthly, given the continued negative perceptions about the Uganda Police, many times exaggerated or misplaced, we intend to use the celebrations to improve the police image.
Fifthly, we intend to use the celebrations, to rehabilitate the history of the Uganda Police. In particular, we intend to pay tribute, especially to the leaders, and the heroes of the Uganda Police (especially those who lost their lives in the line of duty) and rehabilitate and recognize their contributions, as well as those who along this long journey have contributed significantly to its survival, development and transformation.
Last but not least, we intend to use the celebrations to reunite the Police family: retired and serving officers and personnel, families of fallen and other deceased comrades.
We plan to have commemorative activities throughout the 6 months’ period beginning on the 25thMay 2014, when we shall have two activities: a marathon in memory of our national hero, John Akii Bua, and to raise funds to assist Acid Victims; and then the formal launch by the Minster of Internal Affairs of the celebrations at the Serena Inter National conference centre.
We have put in place an organizing committee composed of serving and retired officers. It is chaired by IGP Emeritus Cossy Odomel. He will introduce to you the members of his committee. We plan that the celebrations involve all Police Officers, serving and retired and our families, crime preventers, students, the media and the general public and will take place all over the country. It should be a moment of pride for our country. I, therefore, call upon everybody to embrace the events with enthusiasm.
Gen. Kale Kayihura
Inspector General of Police