The Ugandan police force is still populated by bad apples much as the President has tried to get rid of some of them.
In what can pass for a real-life based comedy movie, a Ugandan high ranking police officer arranged the UGX75m theft and then disguised the same as an armed robbery.
The 45-year-old assistant superintendent of police, Michael Bulenzibuto, had been trusted with the money to deliver it at some point in Kamuli-Busoga in the Eastern part of the country. He would breach such trust by helping himself on the funds instead.
He is understood to have arranged the theft of the funds with his junior, special police constable, Juma Isabirye. He had deployed Isabirye to offer guard services during the process of transporting the money to where it was supposed to be delivered.
But Bulenzibuto was merely kidding as per his name. Along the way, the junior cop conspired with the driver of the car carrying the funds and robbed the cash before delivering the same to his master.
The trio then conspired together to fabricate and record a case of highway robbery to make it appear as if the cash had been robbed from them along the way but which hadn’t been the case in truth.
Victoria Sugar Limited, the firm which had released the money to clear the salaries for it’s workers plus cane growers in Kisozi Town council, Kamuli in the Greater Busoga region, rejected to be taken for a ride.
They escalated the matter to the police higher authorities who, after commencing a thorough investigation, discovered the money to have been diverted by it’s own cops in conjunction with Moses Mukaabya, the driver of the car which was carrying the funds.
Confesses, booted with disgrace
Upon his arraignment before the police disciplinary tribunal, Bulenzibuto was no longer in the habit of kidding around. Yes. He owned up to his folly straight away.
But the tribunal wasn’t moved by his timely confession nor pursuaded by his show of remorse.
Senior Superintendent Moses Nanoka, chairing the tribunal, started instead by rebuking Bulenzibuto for making a mockery of his oath. The same which enjoined him to keep people and their property safe.
The boss then mocked the convict for bringing the entire police force into public ridicule and disrepute.
Nanoka again tonguelashed Bulenzibuto for tainting his seniority, his office plus the police uniform and pips.
Now that he had turned himself into a good-for-nothing-police officer, Nanoka said, he was a proper and fit candidate for dismissal.
Yet that’s not all about what Bulenzibuto is meant to endure henceforth. He is as well stands dismissed from the force with disgrace.
This means, he is going to take home nothing at all in terms of gratuity plus any other cash that comes with retirement that is ideal.
And on top of that, the self-confessed convict is going again to stand trial as a private person in the criminal courts for the offence he committed.
Talk of so many tragedies all because of just one single moment of temptation.