Drivers Decry Extortion on Entebbe Express Highway Top story

2935 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
Three police patrol vehicles were deployed to patrol the route that starts from Busega to Entebbe Road in Kajansi and Katabi two months ago. However, motorists are accusing the officers of extortion and terrorising them without any reason.

Motorists using the newly launched Entebbe Express Highway are accusing police patrollers of extortion. Three police patrol vehicles were deployed to patrol the route that starts from Busega to Entebbe Road in Kajansi and Katabi two months ago. 

However, motorists are accusing the officers of extortion and terrorising them without any reason. Several motorists have filed complaints at Kajjansi and Natete Police Stations but even this hasn't deterred the officers from continuing with the extortion. 

URN took a drive through the highway starting from Busega junction to Katabi on Wednesday evening at about 8pm. Our reporter saw a police patrol vehicle registration number UP4916 laden with about six officers attached to the Field Force Police Unit (FFPU) parked at Busega junction entering the highway. 
 
As the vehicle carrying our reporter approached the police patrol, unidentified officer wearing a helmet jumped off the vehicle and waved it down. He walked to the driver's window (Shillah Namutebi) and asked her to roll it down. He informed Namutebi that the road hasn't been opened to traffic and will have to pay some money so as to give her access.

Namutebi explained to the officer that she doesn't have any money on her but can send him Mobile money, a s proposal he rejected, saying maybe next time and waved the vehicle to proceed. Not all drivers are as lucky as Namutebi. 

One traveler told URN on condition of anonymity that her driver was pulled out of the vehicle and forced to pay Shilling 10,000 before they were allowed to proceed with the journey.

According to the source, she was stopped at the Busega junction by the same patrol vehicle UP4916

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Peter Gwayaka, a city lawyer says it was a traffic officer working together with the FFPU officers on the patrol vehicle who stopped him and asked for some money to allow him to use the road. The officers backed off after Gwayaka threatened to file a complaint against him.

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The Kampala Metropolitan Police Spokesperson, Luke Owoyesigyire, says police is aware of the extortion allegations, adding that they have put in place strategies to stop it.
 
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Extortion from motorists by police patrol vehicles has become common in Kampala and its surrounding districts especially deep in the night.
 
In the past, patrol officers were known for arresting people walking on foot at night on charges of idle and disorderly as well as vagabond. 

The arrests were stopped by the former Inspector General of Police-IGP Kale Kayihura on the directives of president, Yoweri Museveni following complaints from the public.

 

About the author

Dear Jeanne
Dear Jeanne is a URN journalist based in Kampala. Jeanne has been a URN staff member since 2014.

Jeanne started out as a political and crime reporter for NBS television in 2010. She went on to become a news director at the station before leaving in 2012 to join The Daily Monitor as an investigative reporter in 2012.

Jeanne is ambitious to improve her investigative reporting skills. Jeanne’s focus for much of her five year career has been to report on crime and security.