As you are all aware, the media especially social media, is awash with a false and misleading narrative from PC Batuka Juma, where he faults the institution and selected officers, for allegedly frustrating his redeployment, 10 months since his return from the Peace Keeping Mission in Somalia, where he served under AMISOM. He adds that he was emotionally tortured and charged disciplinarily in an “illegal kangaroo court”.
It is true the officer served his tour of duty under the AMISOM, where his record was found wanting, for assaulting a superior officer from Sierra Leone, and for consuming and dealing in drugs. Where conduct falls below the high standards expected by the force, undisciplined officers are subjected to disciplinary or criminal sanctions.
Over the years, our police officers deployed in Peace Keeping missions, like Liberia, East Timor, Sudan, South Sudan and Somalia, have been viewed with high esteem by both the recipient nations and officers from other contributing countries. We would like the public to also know, that when officers are deployed in any mission, they legally remain part of the UPF serving our nation, though practically working under the African Union or United Nations.
Therefore, when their conduct falls below the high standards expected by the mission and the UPF, it’s important that disciplinary sanctions are taken against them. The fact that the Leadership of AMISOM, wrote a misconduct letter, about PC Batuka Juma, to the IGP shows how serious his behavior was. It definately affected part of the trust and confidence the leadership of AMISOM, our counterparts of Sierra Leone had about our performance.
As a disciplined force, it was recommended that the officer undergoes a disciplinary process. He, however, defied the disciplinary court which was comprised at Police Headquarters. The officer continued lobbying several officers for his redeployment, without success, because of the pending disciplinary matter. Other additional charges of misconduct including threats of violence against a superior officer under the Directorate of Traffic and Road safety, have been added. The force will therefore, continue with the misconduct hearing against PC Batuka Juma, in a fair and transparent manner and will ensure the best course of action is undertaken. Failure to appear before the disciplinary court will further taint his record.
We would like to use this opportunity to remind all police officers, that tackling police misconduct and abuse of position are priorities by the leadership of the UPF. Therefore, there’s absolutely no room for complacency, when officers act with impunity, irrespective of whether they are serving abroad or at home.
SCP ENANGA FRED