FOUL PLAY: Desertion Allegations Haunt Police Constable Ben Leopolo Odoi


PC BEN LEOPOLO ODOI has not got salary since August 2023, he leaves a desperate life, full of misery and hopelessness, PHOTO/JARAMOGI PATRICK


TORORO, Uganda = SHIFT MEDIA =In a shocking turn of events, Police Constable No. 35296, Odoi Leopolo Ben, has been labelled a deserter by the Uganda Police Force, and his efforts to clear his name have been met with resistance. The constable’s ordeal began when he took a leave of absence to attend to his ailing mother, who later passed away. However, upon his return, he was shocked to find out that he had been removed from the police payroll and his services terminated.

We have established that Odoi’s  mother, Mary Nyakecho died on 10th July 2023, and was buried on 15th July 2023.

On the 17 July 2023, Odoi wrote to the IGP, Attn, Director Welfare Uganda police requesting for reimbursement of burial expenses for his late mother (see letter below), but this request was never honored to date.

Ben, who has been serving the police force for over  19 years, claims that his request for leave was approved by his superiors at the Bukedi South Region based in Tororo district. However, when he returned to duty, he was met with hostility and accusations of desertion. Despite his protests of innocence, Ben’s pleas have fallen on deaf ears.


“I still feel all these actions were done with malice aforethought. Mum died on July 10th 2023, i buried her on July 15, 2023, and requested for reimbursement on July 17, 2023. But surprisingly, on 29th August 2023, i was charged (REGION SD:21/29/08/2023) for being absent from duty without official leave, and immediately a message was sent from Police headquarters (13/21/29/08/2023) to all units declaring me a deserter,” explained Odoi

Ben Leopolo Odoi joined the UPF in 2005

The constable’s situation has become increasingly desperate, with his family and dependents suffering as a result of his forced unemployment. His wife, who relies on him for financial support, is struggling to make ends meet. “My husband is not a deserter,” she says. “He was only attending to his mother’s sickness and did not abandon his duties. The police force should have been understanding and given him time to sort out his personal issues.”

Ben’s predicament has taken a toll on his mental health, leaving him feeling frustrated and demotivated. He has petitioned the Inspector General of Police Abbas Byakagaba, hoping that someone will listen to his side of the story and take action to rectify the situation. “I am still waiting for a response from the Inspector General,” he says. “I am not giving up hope that justice will be served.”

He particularly accuses the former Bukedi South Region RPC. ACP Ceaser Tusingwire. Who has since be redeployed of being behind his suffering, and removal from the payroll. Tusingwire couldn’t be reached for a comment.

In addition to his struggles with desertion allegations, Ben has also been denied a transfer to the Canine section of the police force, which he believes would be a better fit for him, since he studied veterinary. His immediate bosses have allegedly blocked his request, citing “disciplinary issues” as the reason. “On August 14 2023, I wrote to the then IGP complaining about my denial for a transfer, the then RPC declined to endorse the complaint, as a protocol requirement,” said Odoi.

Odoi says in 2018 he applied to joint CID, but his desire was shot down on the pretext that as a holder of a diploma in veterinary, joining the canine section would suffice. “I was also told that the record in my file doesn’t qualify me to join CID, I have never been told what this record is,” said Odoi

The Uganda Police Force has come under fire for its handling of Odoi’s case. Critics argue that the force is not doing enough to support its officers during times of personal crisis. “This is unacceptable,” says a human rights activist. “The police force should be understanding and supportive of its officers. Instead, they are using their power to intimidate and silence them.”

As Odoi continues to fight for justice, he remains hopeful that his story will inspire change within the police force. “I hope that my case will raise awareness about the importance of supporting officers during times of personal crisis,” he says. “I am not asking for special treatment, but I am asking for fairness and justice.”

Kampala Metropolitan Police Spokesperson SP Patrick Onyango said at times most officers don’t ask for leave from their superiors, but come out to complain when they are scrapped off the payroll. “Did that officer ask for leave? If so did he return the real day the leave expired? If he was labelled a deserter was a disciplinary court session held to try him?, if not that should be pushed so that he is either cleared and reinstated, or dismissed from the force,” said Onyango

The Inspector General of Police Abbas Byakagaba who just replaced John Martins Okoth Ochola as IGP is  yet to respond to Ben’s petition, leaving the constable in limbo. As he waits for a resolution, Ben remains committed to clearing his name and fighting for his rights as a police officer.






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