Private Security Firms Flout Recruitment Procedures

8179 Views Fort Portal, Uganda

In short
All private security companies in Uganda must be registered and vetted by the police force.

Private security firms in Kabalore district are on the spot for recruiting guards in disregard to procedure. There are 7 registered private security firms, which operate in Fort portal. They provide security to individuals and public firms. All private security companies in Uganda must be registered and vetted by the police force. They must provide a record of all their employees and must regularly report on the number of firearms in their possession. The police are also supposed to supervise training of the recruits for three months in proper handling of weapons and guarding procedures.

However, some of the firms are not adhering to the procedure that puts the lives of the people they protect and the community in danger. Records at Fort Portal police station indicate that since the beginning of this year, more than 15 security guards from different firms in Kabarole have been arrested for their alleged involvement in criminal activities such as murder and robbery. One of the firms accused by police for operating without a license is Fort Portal Security Company. Geoffrey Mugabe, the manager Fort Portal Security Company declined to show URN a copy of the license of his firm.

Mugabe also says that they carry out training without police supervision because whenever they inform police, they fail to turn up. When asked whether he was aware he was flouting the rules, Mugisa admitted he was is ignorant of some of the rules governing private security companies. At United Security Company, some of the newly recruited guards told Uganda Radio Network that they didn’t go through any training, but only presented recommendation letters from their LC1 chairperson. Joseph Kihamba, the Kabarole District Police Commander says that he is aware of the firms, which are operating illegally. 

He says that some proprietors of security companies don’t inform police about their plans to establish an armed guard service and only go to the authorities when they are already operating. Kihamba says with effect from next month, no security company will carry out recruitment and trainings without police supervision.

//Cue in: “police has a responsibility to supervise.”
Cue out: “…must complete training properly.”//

Steven Baguma, a resident of Fort Portal says lack of proper recruitment and training procedures of security guards is partly to blame for their increasing involvement in crime. Baguma wants police to re-screen the security guards by taking their fingerprints and capturing the photographs.


About the author

Emmanuel Kajubu
Emmanuel Kajubu is proud to have been the first Ugandan journalist to write in depth pieces about the Tooro Kingdom institution. His knowledge of the inner workings of the Tooro Kingdom is what made him privy to the splits in the royal family. These splits almost challenged Tooro Omukama Oyo Nyimba Iguru's reign.

Culture, agriculture and the environment are just two areas of many of interest to Kajubu. As long as he has held a pen, Kajubu has also written about public policy, health and crime.

Kajubu is keen on impacting his society not just as a writer but also a trainer and mentor. Bundibugyo and Ntoroko districts fall under his docket. Kajubu has been a URN staff member since 2008.