By Fred Kiva
In 2012 London Olympics Marathon gold medalist, Stephen Kiprotich, was elevated from a junior rank of Prison Warder to that of Assistant Superintendent of Prisons in recognition of his stellar performance at the games.
According to the Commissioner General of Prisons Dr. Johnson Byabashaija, this made Kiprotich the first serving Prisons Officer to get an accelerated promotion, jumping seven positions at once. Dr Byabashaija said then this was in line with the Prison Service’s policy of recognizing and promoting its sportsmen and women.
Fast-forward 2018, Uganda has another gold medalist in Joshua Kiprui Cheptegei, a Special Police Constable attached to the Police Sports Department. He won the men’s 5000meters race at the ongoing Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast Australia on Sunday.
Two other Ugandan Police Constables Stella Chesang and Mercyline Chelangant, all attached to the Uganda Police Sports Department have won medals at the same games, flying high the Uganda flag. Chesang won a gold medal while Chelangat scooped a bronze in the women 10,000meters race.
Uganda Police is upbeat about this achievement by their officers.
“One of our own Joshua Cheptegei, a police officer has won a gold medal in the ongoing Commonwealth games in Gold Coast, Australia. Join us and we congratulate Cheptegei, the police athletics team and all Ugandans upon this win.He has made us proud,” Deputy Police Spokesperson Patrick Onyango told a weekly press briefing on Monday morning. This was before news of Chesang and Chelangat wining other medals.
But as the country celebrates this achievement, the question is how will the Uganda Police Force reward the trio? Will it be a welcome party or a promotion as the case was with Kiprotich.
Onyango could not readily answer this question saying, “top Police Management will sit on Wednesday, let us wait for the outcome.”
He did not however explain if this management meeting will convene specifically to discuss the trio’s win and possible promotion.