The Uganda Police Force has directed all its personnel in possession of firearms to hand them in as a measure to curb rising crime among police personnel.
The decision, which has been communicated to all police units, comes just weeks after a Senior Police Officer shot a Probation Constable at Jinja road police station after finding him in bed with his sister in-law.
A February 28 notice at the Directorate of Criminal Investigations calls on all officers to handover the firearms in their possession.
The notice talks of “some officers misusing guns and committing serious offences such as murder and robbery, citing the Jinja road incident as an example.
The notice was sent out to all Directors, Heads of Departments and Director Kampala Metropolitan police, Acting Criminal Investigations Commandant Kampala Metropolitan Police, all Regional Criminal Investigations Officers, all Division Criminal Investigations Officers and all Division Criminal Intelligence officers.
The same message was pinned up at the Directorate of Criminal Investigations directing that all firearms and ammunitions in possession of CID personnel be recovered.
The message signed by Detective Commissioner of Police, Edison Gumisiriza, says that firearms would be issued to officers going for duty and there after returned. Officers who need to be armed all the time are supposed to be issued with relevant permits.
When contacted, Police spokesperson, Judith Nabakooba could not confirm the withdrawal of firearms from police officers. Nabakooba also said she had not seen such a communication.
She, however, added that vigilance had been stepped up in the wake of insecurity in which firearms had been lost. Nabakooba said that police now requires officers to move in pairs especially in areas that have been affected.
She added that even members of the public will have to go through extra checking especially at the entrances to police stations.
Over the last two weeks, there have been cases of guns disappearing from police stations and attacks. The latest happened on March 9 at Kitala Police Post in Entebbe, whereunknown people who had reportedly gone to report a case at the Police Post grabbed an Sub Machine Gun from the station guard and disappeared. Three days ago, police issued a press release saying seven suspected attackers have been arrested including Ruhanga James, the boda-boda cyclist who allegedly transported them that night.