Uganda Police is yet to kick start the construction of the proposed state of art forensic lab as resolved by the East African Police Chiefs Cooperation Organisation in 2014. Uganda pledged to set up the forensic lab for use by all the 14 East African member states for forensic analysis and investigations.
But three year after, very little progress has been made. Uganda Police has only managed to set up a directorate of forensics at the police headquarters in Naguru.
The Inspector General of Police, Kale Kayihura, says they are in advanced stages of planning for the project. “The forensic project is in advanced stages,” he said.
Currently, Uganda Police sends all evidence requiring forensic analysis to South Africa or United Kingdom. However, there is limited use of forensic evidence due to the costs and distance involved.
Kayihura says the absence of a forensic laboratory makes it difficult for police to handle that most cases involving forensic evidence to their conclusion. “It is really undermining our efforts to effectively investigate and get criminals out of society,” he said.
The expense of using forensic evidence is not only a challenge to Uganda but other countries in the entire Eastern Africa region with the exception of Sudan. Sudan has just completed constructing its own forensic centre.
Sudan announced the accomplishment during the just concluded EAPCCO Annual General meeting and welcomed all member states to make use of the centre that is closer compared South Africa.