By Norman Isaac Mwambazi
President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has ordered the Inspector General of Police (IGO) Martins Okoth Ochola to stop the Police and Local Defence Unit from the senseless killings they are doing in the country by shooting and or clobbering Ugandans to death, a few months to the 2021 general election.
It should be noted that ever since the LDU was incorporated into the Police to help the latter keep law and order about two years ago, there has been a steady increase in the number of shootings in the country both by LDU and errant Police officers.
These shootings ran out of control this year during the COVID-19 lockdown period; so much that all LDU operatives were recalled and taken for a refresher short court about human rights, conflict resolution, and restraint from drawing the gun every time they were carrying out their operations.
So on Saturday, September 19, 2020, President Museveni directed IGP Ochola to immediately address this issue and make sure the random killings stop in the country.
“I am writing to direct you to stop the random shootings by the LDUs and Police, all under the command of Police. There was shooting dead of one person in Katakwi, one person in Bugiri, two people in Isingiro, etc. Analysis of these shootings shows that many, if not all, of these shootings were unnecessary,” the President’s letter to IGP Ochola reads in part.
The President reminded the IGP that Police and LDU officers should at all times follow the Public Order Management procedures of riot control which include telling the crowd to disperse, using non-lethal means like teargas, shields among others and that shooting should be the last resort, and only in self-defence in case the protesters become violent.
“Nobody should be allowed to carry a gun anywhere in Uganda on behalf of the state and engage in dealing with the public, that is not aware of these procedures,” the letter adds.
Museveni has directed Ochola to publish a booklet bearing the procedures for using guns for Police, LDUs and Private Security Organisations, and distribute it to all Police posts by October 15th, 2020.
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