The Inspector General of Police, Martins Okoth Ochola has been awarded with the Peace and Tolerance prize from ABETO. The award was received on his behalf by the Police Spokesperson, SCP Fred Enanga, at a function held at Protea hotel in Kampala. ABETO in full is Always Be Tolerant Organisation (ABETO). It is a non-governmental organization formed in 1996 as a non-Government Organisation following a call from her Majesty the Queen of England during the Commonwealth general assembly in 1995 in Harare Zimbabwe. At the assembly, the Queen cited the Rwanda genocide to call for tolerance. Since then the ABETO has promoted tolerance as a key factor for co-existence. The organization has also since extended its scope to the international level. Among the international awardees of the ABETO Peace Award is former South African President and anti-apartheid activist Nelson Mandela.
In his acceptance speech, the IGP said:
I receive this honor with deep gratitude and humility on a day that doubles as the International Day of Peace and Tolerance. Let me start by extending special thanks to the Chief Guest, UNESCO and all its great partners, all other nominees for this Prestigious Award, for having honored us with your presence. Special regards also go to the Chairperson ABETO and your entire team for having nominated me for this distinction. I and my team shall forever remember and cherish your recognition and encouragement in our work. I also want to thank this beautiful assembly of outstanding personalities, who have honored us by their presence.
As I accept with heartfelt gratitude this Prestigious Award, I must admit that it’s a special privilege to me as an individual. But I also want you to see behind me, thousands of law enforcement personnel, 52,000 of them, the indomitable police advisory committee, and my family members who have greatly supported me and sacrificed a lot, for the safety of Ugandans.
This announcement of the Peace and Tolerance Award, for the year, 2022, is a message of hope to all police officers, that they are not forgotten. Ladies and gentlemen, it is on this very day last year, that we witnessed the deadly terrorist attack on CPS Kampala and Parliament Avenue. We want to remember the 4 civilians who died and also honor PC Kungu Amos, who died on duty, while manning the check point, and the 37 other police officers, who suffered serious and critical injuries. Everyday our police officers demonstrate remarkable courage in the face of great danger and risk to personnel safety while in or off duty. For our fallen officer, his bravery on that day was remarkable and truly exemplifies the Uganda Police’s core values.
Thank you all because you have reminded me, and the entire law enforcement fraternity that the sacrifices they to their families and society, are recognized. We pledge to continue doing everything within our means to provide peace, safety and security to the public, because Peace and Tolerance is a brotherly disposition, a readiness to help, mercy towards those who are in distress and an understanding that human rights are due to all of us. Therefore, if we crave for freedom, justice, equality before the law, it must be color blind and applicable to all.
Therefore, as I receive this Peace and Tolerance prize from ABETO, I must admit that it has greatly energized and encouraged me, my family and the entire UPF, we hope that it will make all human rights defenders, members of the criminal justice system and the public understand that law enforcers, are fellow human beings and that Peace, freedom, Tolerance, fairness, impartiality, integrity and diligence, can only exist if we are also included.
Thank you for listening to me. For God and my Country. I salute you all.