The director of police operations services, AIGP Edward Ochom, has denied giving orders banning the use of travel letters issued by Local Council chairpersons and Resident District Commissioner (RDCs) to people with emergencies.
While declaring a 42-days lockdown last Friday, President Yoweri Museveni, said LCs and RDCs can issue travel clearance to people going for medical services such as pregnant mothers and other conditions.
However, Kampala Metropolitan police commander, Moses Kafeero, on Sunday night issued 11 orders among them was to confiscate all LCs and RDCs letters.
“Any occupants with travel documents signed by LCS and RDCs are not allowed. Confiscate those letters and park the vehicles and communicate to the supervisors. Keep those letters for our accountability,” reads order number six.
But AIGP Ochom said as the director of operations he is not aware of such orders citing Museveni’s speech where he authorised LCs and RDCs to issue clearances for emergencies especially medical related conditions.
“I listened to the president I can’t be the one to contradict them. If someone needs medical treatment, he or she can get travel clearance from the Chairman. I have not issued such orders,” said Ochom.
Nevertheless, a number of police officers found at various roadblocks said they were following the KMP orders. A number of people including journalists were stuck on the roads because of these new KMP orders.
Ochom, however, said moving in branded cars and having a job ID putting you in the category of essential workers is not enough. According to Ochom, companies including media houses must also give letters explaining why it is important for that particular worker to be on duty every day.
“We must have a reason why you must leave your home. Being a nurse or a doctor doesn’t mean you keep moving around town because you are essential work. You must have proof that you are on duty. A journalist having an ID is not enough. Not all journalists must be at work. You must have a limited number at work,” said Ochom.
KMP commanders have been urged to allow branded company vehicles to move. However, all the occupants in those company branded vehicles must bear IDs for those companies.
“For example if u find a branded car for Mukwano company and the occupants in that vehicle cannot identify themselves as workers of Mukwano you arrest the occupants and park the vehicle for further management,” reads KMP commander’s guidelines.