Last Updated on: 20th February 2023, 04:49 pm
Corruption in a section of government institutions has frustrated the quest for justice in Kotido district.
This follows endless complaints from the members of the communities who go seeking justice from police but are frustrated by the monitory demands from police and government hospital in Kotido district.
According to reports that have been verified by this publication, suspects pay an unspecified amount of money to get released on police bonds. Police bond is meant to be free.
Victims who have been assaulted and abused sexually pay to be examined at Kotido general hospital.
Lomoi Lilly Rose, a resident of Kotido municipality says that on February 4 2023, her two children were arrested and beaten by the police patrol team and taken to Kotido central police station.
While there, she said she was asked to pay shs20,000 for each of her children to get released on police bond. She claimed they were arrested innocently.
Lomoi says she is now discouraged to report any matter to the police or follow up on any matter with them because police can’t help without attaching financial gains to any matter before helping someone.
John Bosco Akore is the secretary for the Kotido elder’s council. He has witnessed corruption of many forms from police, adding that Karamoja has become the dumping ground for corrupt police officers.
According to Akore, many vulnerable people in the rural places of Kotido are discouraged from reporting cases to the police because they have to facilitate police to effect arrest by giving them money for fuel and giving some money to personnel going for arrest.
While responding to the allegation, Micheal Lonogli, the Karamoja police spokesperson said they have had challenges with errant police officers who extort money from complainants, tarnishing the image of the police.
He added that such officers should be reported to the police professional standards unit (PPSU) through the district and regional police commanders so that such kinds of officers can be dealt with.
“Police has a budget that caters for its fuel and the personnel earn salaries for executing their roles,” he said.
According to the Fourth National Integrity Survey Report conducted by the Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) on behalf of the Inspectorate of Government (IG) in 15 sub-regions of Uganda, representing both rural and urban areas for the year 2019/2020, the Uganda Police Force (UPF) emerged as the most corrupt institution in the country.
Kotido General Hospital at it.
Lomoi Lilly rose further exposed that Kotido general hospital one time disappointed her when she was assaulted and police sent her to the hospital with forms to get filled out by the medical personnel.
She was required to pay shs20,000 which she didn’t have.
She added that the person who assaulted her went and paid the shs20,000 to the hospital medical officer who filled the forms against her and she lost the case.
Anthony Obonyo Jabwor, the Kotido Resident State Attorney also faulted the Kotido general hospital authorities for asking the injured complainants for money, saying they have frustrated the justice administration.
The Attorney added that those who cannot afford can no longer go for such services yet forms are needed in court as exhibits. Take a listen below:
When this reporter contacted Eveline Auma, the clinical officer in charge of examining the assaulted victims and disguised as someone who is taking an assaulted victim for medical examinations, she asked me (the reporter) to go with shs20,000.
Dr Cerino Acar, the Kotido District Health Officer (DHO), however, condemned the act, saying that all services at Kotido general hospital are free because it is a government hospital.
The DHO also added that police have a budget for facilitating cases they refer to the hospital for examinations and postmortem, revealing they (police) do not pay the money to the personnel.
He added that they will follow up on the personnel ever asking for payment from patients who need medical examination and take appropriate action.
Micheal Longoli, the police spokesperson said they don’t have any budget for paying the medical personnel for examining the victims they refer for medical checkups, stating that Justice Law and Order Sector only pays for those who are examined from the private health facilities but not government-owned facilities.
The Kotido chief magistrate Fredie Awachnedi, in an interview, condemned that act of corruption in the police, adding that those whose rights have been violated should instead report to the higher authorities instead of giving up. “Searching for justice is their right.”
A police medical examination form filled by a clinical officer is usually required by the court as evidence of assault, rape and defilement in courts of law.
This story was done with funding support from Ultimate Media Consults (U) Ltd.