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Police needs to be cleansed of ‘weevils’

Police fire teargas inside presidential candidate Bobi Wine's vehicle in Mbale

Police fire teargas inside presidential candidate Bobi Wine's vehicle in Mbale

When the Uganda Police Force (UPF) was under a cadre, General Kale Kayihura, it was without a doubt, partisan and unprofessional.

It was properly fused into the structures of the ruling party, National Resistance Movement (NRM). It clearly appeared intent on protecting and insulating the NRM from any form of opposition. The formal police recruitment procedures had been abandoned. For instance, Nixon Agasirwe, a shoe vendor and an informant in Mbarara town, ended up installed as a high-ranking senior police officer.

His loyalty was not to the Constitution but to Kale Kayihura. Kayihura also preferred to use dodgy and informal groups such as Boda boda 2010 led by the convicted Abdallah Kitatta.

This group committed more crimes, some as heinous as murder. Indeed in the wake of Kayihura’s ouster, President Yoweri Museveni said police had been infested with “weevils”- Kawuukumi.

He sacked the conflicted officer and replaced him with a career officer, Martins Okoth Ochola. Ochola began well by reminding and preaching the core values of discipline to his officers. He said going forward, officers would be individually liable when they commit crimes or breach the newly enacted Human Rights (Enforcement) Act.

One would have thought that UPF superintended by a professional career officer would be an exemplary force. Not at all! The conduct of police especially in the last 15 days after nomination of presidential candidates has been chaotic and despicable.

Oftentimes, they have been the cause of chaos when they teargas followers of candidates. And as a consequence, some people have died and others maimed. And police doesn’t seem to care about its core role of protecting people and their property.

Police ought to know that Uganda runs a multiparty political system and, therefore, as a state agency, they must give equal protection to all players.

The conduct of the police especially when dealing with two particular candidates; Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu of National Unity Platform (NUP) and Patrick Amuriat of Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) depicts a discriminatory UPF. They should not treat these candidates like marauders who ought to be ejected from the race!

The Observer would like to remind the inspector general of police that he needs to keep his officers on a tight leash. In a democratic society, there are always compromises, which ought to be tolerated and one of them is the fact that not all citizens have the same political affiliations.

And ideas must not be defeated by an axe or barrel of a gun. They must be matched with superior ideas. We pray that UPF reflects on its actions and reverts to the standards according to which it ought to conduct itself.

Comments

0 #1 Lakwena 2020-11-21 13:46
The Observers Editors,

Apparently after saying what he said: that each officer will be individually liable for crimes committed during deployment; I think Afande Okth Ochola has now left his lieutenants, the ranks and file officers to their own devices.

E.g. since the primaries in October 2020, and the current fracases, which have seen blood flowing on the streets of Kampala, and police cells throughout the country filling up; Afande has not stepped forward and said a single word: neither of condemnation nor caution to his officers, politicians and Ugandans.

In other words, it will not be the institution of the Police to weed out the weevils. But the weevils and their mindless, self-defeating and devastating actions will weed themselves out of the Uganda Police; by later being prosecuted individually.
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0 #2 Katabazi Joseph 2020-11-24 14:08
That is a classic analysis of the issues pertaining to the police and generally the politics of Uganda. Ochola is nothing and is positionless in that force .the effective co is Maj Gen Sabiti and he and his boss commit this traverse actions to the Ugandans with no remorse.

This is a sabbiti l / M7 ..force to use it as and what he wants .So Ochola is just a figurehead/trojan horse. The effective Command is Sabiti Muzeei.
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0 #3 Wainanchi 2020-11-25 02:32
Hey hey Observer.!! How come you omitted criminal with guns shooting at innocent people,or those " rode runners" running and killing innocent bystanders or those thugs camouflaging in NRM shirts, or looting and burning tyres??

What police discipline or indiscipline are you talking about? What you are saying police should just stand by and turn blind eyes on killers and terrorists? Hmmm? Hahshahaha
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