Did you know?

Way home

Well, my friend Beaton, https://becomingthemuse.net/ a couple days ago posted something about drinking tea with the police; he suddenly got me thinking about what policing entails in Uganda. Did you know that being arrested in my country is a double tragedy? oh yes! When the police show up at your door to make an arrest, you, the criminal has to pay a “fuel” fee that covers your transportation costs. You will most likely be carried away on a boda boda; (motor-bike) the mode of transport commonly used to conveniently get around and about town in order to dodge the endless traffic jam.

And for those citizens reporting a case to the police; they are indirectly charged an “investigation fee” which allows the police to go after the bad guy. Failure to do so will result to a frustratingly fruitless outcome. The investigation fee supposedly covers trifles like airtime (phone bill), lunch, or any other inconvenience that could be encountered along the way.

So there you have it friends, the Ugandan experience. I would love to know what your experience with the police is. Thank you!

Published by Msdedeng

At 41, I am still figuring out life: my place in society, my career path, a family of my own, any many others things. Heck, I am still trying to make friends in California; a place I moved to 3 years ago. I am currently in a Community College to make up for the many years I missed school while in Africa (Uganda). I intend to transfer to university next year and double major in History and English. I lead a very ordinary life; a normal day is spent doing school assignments, hiking, or reading. My favorite thing to do is walk! Short walks or long walks it does not matter. Walking allows me to think about things - anything! My love of walking comes from where I grew up, a small village in northeastern Uganda. It is still one of the most remotest areas I will ever know, and couldn't even start comparing what life is like there to say a place like California. Walking was all I did while growing up! I walked for miles to school, to church, to the shops, to the borehole to fetch water, and to the market. It was quite an adventure unlike any other - so you now understand my love for walking.

106 thoughts on “Did you know?

  1. It’s cheaper, “happier,” but with a lot of corruption in almost every branch of government, and bad air (car fumes and dust) in the cities.
    You have legit points though!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. We obviously have massive issues here ourselves … but our issues are equal for all and humanity … Better treatment of people and training for those upholding the law. I also think they should be required to have a degree – other jobs require that – they need schooling … I could go on and on with our issues also

    But those money issues that is hard!! That just opens a treasure trove of issues

    And that is so not right… to put your life on the line to protect others (sincerely) should be paid in turn for doing that. As in salary – not from those you protect.

    How is cost of living there ? Is cheaper than here? Is different than what I know

    Is it peaceful there? More than here?


  3. And being poor is a triple curse: no police won’t come in time if at all, you will still pay, and if you are the criminal, you can be sure you are going to jail, because you can’t afford bail money, but poverty equals disrespect. I am not proud to say all this, but corruption has broken Uganda to irreparable pieces.


  4. I guess, be thankful for what you have. However, there is no such thing as police driven by racism, discrimination on the other hand? absolutely,! being rich in my country is both a blessing and a curse: a blessing because the police will rush to protect you if you call, a curse, they will charge you handsomely, lol.
    To answer your question on annual income, I am confident Ugandan police DON’T come close to $12.000 a year, HELL NO!!!
    Ps. got this message in spam lol 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I would not consider that policing?

    I don’t know, that sounds bad to me… they get a thank you by knowing they do a good job protecting the citizens 🤨

    If my police asked for kick backs for informing them of the job they supposed to be doing… yeah… no way… do your job – that is their thank you.

    They can charge the criminals – that I don’t care about… If they gonna commit crimes there are consequences – maybe they won’t do anymore

    And also I would this this manner of operation creates huge distance between law abiding citizens and police

    (America is not perfect though – obviously we have our own police issues)

    Does Africa have vigilantes? Cause if you have to pay police then screw that – maybe some just handle themselves if police don’t want a job.

    I wouldn’t pay the police a dime

    But wait … let me ask this… are there taxes in Africa and do those taxes also pay for law enforcement?

    So just that I can see correctly… is Africa cheaper than the United States to live?

    Cause when I Google the yearly salary of law enforcement in Africa … (it gives me South Africa info)

    It says that a law enforcement officer would make approx 210,000 ZAR per year… that’s middle ground could be lower/higher

    Translated to US dollar that’s about $12,739.64

    Is that good for Africa? … cause for the United States I be like hell no… not for putting life on line… you couldn’t afford to live on that salary in the United States – that would be poverty

    People do choose the profession they go into though

    But doesn’t sound like Africa has a good system with policing … it sounds like it would open door to corruption?

    And do criminals ever pay off police ?? Cause it sounds like is all about the money… if they looking for payout then whats to stop a criminal from paying them to look the other way?

    I would not feel safe cause I would not pay police to report anything!!

    Wow… I had no idea police systems different like that!

    Huh… I guess worldwide we need spotlights on things like this 🤨 😮

    Liked by 1 person

  6. You know, you are definitely onto something; I guess it comes to what levels the corruption is, how sophisticated etc.
    However, I have read comments from people whose police operate so smoothly.
    Still, I relate with what you have said more. Thank you for your insight.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. You ve’ got everything righ, and your last kine is spot on. As a result, people become more reluctant to go to the police at all, unless of course you know someone in the police who ranks higer, then your case will be given priority. But the guys still expect a “thank you.”
    They are just overwhelmingly paid, and that’s no excuse, but under such circumstances, temptations are very high.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Whoa!! What? Those reporting a crime are charged? That’s ridiculous – why would anyone report a crime then – who wants to be charged for keeping area safe ??

    Do the police not want to work? Lol

    In rescue situations sometimes if the person is severely and negligently at fault they will charge them for their rescue.

    As far as criminals – don’t do the crime if you don’t want the consequences

    I don’t have run ins with police… other then having them as friends

    But I also either be at work or at home… I am not out doing things currently

    That is a dangerous way to operate to me?? Cause you want citizen tips to help… I can not understand making the informant pay … that bothers me… that tells you not to be involved. And allows criminals to do what they please?

    I have never heard of it like that

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Exactly Norah, me too. We are sometimes caught up in our little world, so oblivious to the happenings around the world. This is another reason I love this platform; reading other people’s news and experiences in their part of the world, is so fulfilling and even humbling.
    Thank you for your comment.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. You are absolutely right! when I was writing this, granted was the word playing in my mind; how we take so many things for granted, and policing and order is one of those things. Thank you so much for your comment, Bunk!
    You have a good day my friend.


  11. Ah I see. Yeah corruption leaves the whole infrastructure brittle. Unfortunately, nobody has the cure for it yet. We can only control our own hearts and minds. 🥺

    Liked by 2 people

  12. It’s more of a miserable wage for the police, so they take other measures to make-up for their shortages. Come to think of it, the system has really failed them. Their housing is pitiable; these are people with families to look after and kids to send to school. They are just caught-up in a dire situation, but so are those they take advantage of. This is how corruption operates, it’s a phenomenon that ends up affecting everyone.
    Thank you for that question that helped me look at the other side too.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. You have honestly touched on something that we tend to forget sometimes; that the police are people like us, with flaws. Your comment has humbled me and helped open my eyes to the wider picture. I cannot generalize them all, rather, talk on an individual level and see the challenges they face too. I wish your neighbor all the respect and love she deserves. Thank you so much for your comment.


  14. My neighbour is ex-police force. I know that in general police are just people, with all the flaws that comes with, and some are rotten and corrupt. But she’s one of the most kind and generous people I know. She’s always taking in strays, helping out, sharing, looking out for us. She also has some horrific stories from her time in homicide – stuff no one should have to see or deal with.
    Having said that, I try to avoid police on the road – my car is very old and sometimes bits fall off. I always worry I’ll be pulled over and given a “canary” – a not-road-worthy sticker.

    Liked by 4 people

  15. Sad that this is the image some police have, having said that, I don’t blame anyone who tries to avoid them at all costs! Dealing with the police is complicated and can go downhill real fast, hehe.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Aqui no Brasil, tudo é muito complicado em relação a polícia. Não pagamos nada quando denunciamos um crime, mas ultimamente, há muitos casos de abusos de autoridade, só que apenas com a população negra. O que é lamentável.

    Liked by 3 people

  17. Thank you Sean, that answers all my other questions. I was telling my husband about your comment yesterday concerning the police. That what you described seemed so far fetched from what I see and have heard in the US. So, thank you for putting that to rest, haha. But wouldn’t be lovely if our polices were half what your police are?

    Liked by 1 person

  18. And to think that staying true to ourselves would be a challenge, makes me shake my head. Thank you for the conversation, Dragon. I truly appreciate other people’s views.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. First of all, thank you so much for your insightful comment. It’s so nice to hear this about the police just trying to do their job, and your comment has really opened my eyes to what I hardly here. Thank you. Sounds like a wonderful job you do and focuses on community. I am sorry to ask, but I a curious to know what country you mean, if you don’t mind.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. It is always shocking and saddening to hear of corruption of people in positions of power. I have not experienced it personally in the police force but have seen similar from others in positions of power. There are no words to describe the travesty of not being able to trust people who are appointed to protect us.

    Liked by 3 people

  21. Oh God! Don’t know if I should laugh or cry. Your way of writing made it lighthearted, but I feel sad to see people exploited. Personally, I just stay away as far as possible from the police, due to some unknown repulsion. In India, I have heard both extremes.. valiant and bribe stories of the policemen.

    Liked by 2 people

  22. Thank you for sharing this double tragedy. Uganda would still seem to have a long way to go.

    When it’s all said and done, I am very lucky where I am. I have had a very good working relationship with the police here due to much of my work in local government over many years. So, I have been involved in joint initiatives including what is called “designing out crime” – so how to make your home, neighbourhood and community safe. Then there is what we call community policing, so local police running what we call “blue light discos” for the kids, in the country areas making sure people don’t drink too much in the local pubs, taking them home if they have and so on (out of the goodness of their hearts). Yes, every now and then something happens. Complaints against the police, politicians and other people in public life are investigated by an independent authority – the Corruption and Crime Commission.

    Liked by 2 people

  23. That’s sadly correct,and it goes all the way to the top. Policemen and women get demoted if they don’t bring in any money, often unfairly wrung from already strained citizens. When a new school term begins or when a holiday like Christmas is around the corner, streets get filled with police looking for any excuse to arrest, fine, and make the money his family, children are in dire need of. Do you see how this is a circle that eventually affects everyone?

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Ah, a good citizen then. No need to apologize for being an A citizen, haha. Sadly, you are right, sounds like a bad joke, but it’s so true.
    Thanks for your lovely comment as always, and no, I believe everyone has their own unique story, and you my friend, teaches me so much I didn’t know of. But there is the fact that by just writing, you indulge us in wonderful imagery 🙂


  25. Oh, Angela, after reading of your experiences, and of other readers’ too, I realize how fortunate I am to have little to report. Aside from a couple traffic stops and a few times asking directions, I’ve had little interaction with police.

    In so many places, though, it seems the police are as lawless as are those from whom they (theoretically) protect you. In such cases, whom do you trust?

    Not to diminish anybody’s anyone’s difficulties, but the situation does recall (sort of) a joke I heard once –

    Heaven has a German engineer, a French chef, and an English cop. Hell has a French engineer, an English chef, and a German cop.

    Liked by 4 people

  26. Oh Russia!!! hmm, glad to give you a glimpse in Africa’s corruption, and I know Africa is one huge continent, but believe me, the culture is so similar it could be one country.
    I bet your wife has some good stories in whatever she keeps them lol.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Wow. That’s eye opening.

    My wife’s family lives in Russian – and we have friends in Ukraine – so I’m familiar with the high levels of corruption in both of those countries… but I don’t know much about Africa.

    Liked by 3 people

  28. Feed it to the police…
    This sounds absolutely crazy, but I guess it is what it is.
    We once stopped at a roadblock and after a thorough investigation which failed to turn up anything irregular, we had the spare and red triangle and fire extinguisher and the brakes and lights worked perfectly, license and insurance were paid up and the car radio license was current and the was a receipt for the 20l of diesel that was in the boot, we were finally given ticket for having a dirty car….

    my last dealing with the police was about a month back during the height of lockdown and the police officers would request for COVID Exemption travelling papers for people to be able to get into the city CBD since only essential services could travel. When my turn came and I gave him my papers (please dont ask where I got them as clearly you may have inferred I am not an essential service provider) the officer cursorily looks at the papers then tells me that the person who reads the papers did not come to work today but if I pay a consultation fee my papers can be examined by a consultant then I can proceed, otherwise I must return from wherence I came…..


    Liked by 4 people

  29. Eh! How could I forget this? apologies!
    Oh gosh, I hear some terrible policing stories in Kenya all the time. The level of corruption in East Africa is staggering, although, I honestly don’t know much about Tanzania. Tanzania seems well managed compared to either Uganda or Kenya.

    Liked by 1 person

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