The Uganda Police Force has embarked on a training of officers on Public order management, ahead of the 2021 general elections.
The training also comes amid claims that officers are always high-handed in dealing with protests, especially those organized by the opposition.
During a pass out of over 200 officers, drawn from the West Nile districts of Arua, Nebbi, Zombo, Pakwach,Maracha and Koboko in Arua on Friday, the Chief Instructor Sergeant Michael Okiror said, the country wide training campaign is aimed at re-orienting officers on knowledge and skills regarding public order management, especially usage of guns and tear gas in managing riots .
The officers are also re-oriented on human rights preservation in the course of duty. The Presidential and general election campaigns, are normally characterized by hooliganism of some candidates and their supporters, as seen in the foiled Kasangati Bobi Wine consultative meeting on January 6. The rowdy supporters instead blocked traffic, attacked passenger vehicles and fought the policemen on duty, contrary to the law and Electoral Commission guidelines.
Last week Police Spokesperson Fred Enanga reiterated the Force’s commitment to ensuring a peaceful campaign period by dealing with defiant candidates and their supporters. “We once again, urge all the aspirants to abide by the law and follow the guidelines issued by the Electoral Commission. The Police is prepared to protect all peace-loving and law-abiding Ugandans, and will also ensure all those who act criminally are arrested and charged to court,” he said.
Currently MPs Robert Kyagulanyi (Bobi Wine), Asuman Basalirwa and Latiff Ssebagala and a number of supporters are pending charges ranging from obstruction to disobedience of lawful orders in relation to the Kasangati Chaos.