By Jolly Gwari
Three Police Marine boats purchased to do surveillance around Lake Victoria remain grounded at Kigo Police Marine base headquarters. The speed boats which were purchased in 2016 by the Uganda Police Force have been recently grounded, hindering operations of the Marine Police. Notably, the Marine officers are now forced to use a wooden boat for operations.
However such boats are not recommended during operations missions especially when the winds are strong. Moses Wadenga, the Police marine engineer at Kigo Marine base says the engineering department still lacks resources to repair and maintain the boats to effectively operate on Lake Victoria.
He says police has not yet ascertained the costs of repairing the marine boats. Kampala Metropolitan Police Spokesperson Patrick Onyango says management of the money for repairing the boats has been availed in the next financial year budget.
He, however, declined to reveal the amount of money. A 2015 report by the Auditor General indicated that the equipment for the Police Marine Unit including all the boats were poorly handled with no parking space.
The report noted that the force lacks a marina at Kigo marine headquarters for safe docking and parking of major boats.
As a result, some big boats are docked at Lake Victoria Serena Hotel for safety purposes, while others are dry docked at Kigo headquarters. The marines also lack a maintenance yard from where repairs and maintenance would be carried out.