The Centenary Torch signifying 100 years of the Uganda Police Force met cold reception in Luweero this week. The torch, which is being transported around the country, is part of the centenary activities for the police, meant to rebuild the image of the force ahead of the main celebrations on October 3rd.
On Monday, the centenary torch reached Luweero from where it will be transported to to Kasangati Police Station in Wakiso district later today ahead the final celebrations on 3rd October 2014.
The Luweero district Chairman of Abdul Nadduli said that during colonial times, it was rare for criminal investigations department officers to fail in their duties.Nadduli said today's officers spend decades investigating cases with no conclusion. He said they spend time writing false statements on suspects and ensuring they are prosecuted without genuine evidence.
Nadduli said that recently police opened a case of aggravated robbery against him and his sons in order to ensure they are jailed.
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Samuel Ssewanyana, a resident in Kavule zone in Luweero, says that he is equally disappointed his brother Richard Kajubi, wife Safina Namagembe and their two children all of Kanyale village in Wakyato Sub County were killed in 2012, but all the key suspects released without charge. Ssewanyana added that from that incident he has learnt police as an incompetent institution and has nothing to celebrate.
Bwanika Bbaale, a Forum for Democratic Change politician in the area, described the police as a Paramilitary force headed by military officers and used in partisan politics.Incidentally, in its 100 years of existence, at least three soldiers have headed the police force. Erinayo Wilson Oryema, who was Inspector General of Police between 1964 and 1971, once served in the King's African Rifles before joining the police. The current police chief, Kale Kayihura, who has been at the helm for nine years, is a General in the Uganda People's Defence Forces (UPDF).General Katumba Wamala, the Chief of Defence Forces, is Kayihura's immediate predecessor, having served in the top police position for two years until 2005. Bwanika also accused police of using colonial laws to detain him in his house in what they called "Preventive arrest" for just supporting opposition leader Kizza Besigye.
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The Luweero town Local Council 3 Chairman Charles Ssebyala said there is no way they can trust police with rampant corruption that welcomes you at stations.
Ssebyala, quoting Transparency International, Uganda Human Rights Commission and the Inspectorate of Government reports that ranked Police as the most corrupt institution in the country, noted that unless police fight the vice, the institution's future is doomed.
Justus Asiimwe, the Luweero District Police Commander, admitted that certain individuals have fallen short on discipline but that it is not the mission of the institution and residents should help to change the trend.