Tuesday March 26 2013

Teacher on the run over drugs

Residents of Kitgum Town look at bundles of marijuana

Residents of Kitgum Town look at bundles of marijuana that were seized by police officers last week. Photo by Moses Akena 


The police in Kitgum are hunting for a primary school teacher for allegedly growing marijuana, an illegal narcotic.

Police say they were informed about the teacher’s illegal business and set out to arrest him, but he fled before they could do so.
The search follows the arrest of four suspects, including a teacher, with 300 kilogrammes of marijuana destined to the market.
The District Police Commander, Mr Nasur Oringa, said the suspects were arrested from Lamit Kapim North in Kitgum Town on Thursdayduring a joint operation between the army and police to rid the area of wrong elements.

Crime cases
“Shop breaking, beatings, and waylaying of people on roads have been rampant. That is what prompted us to conduct this operation,” says Mr Oringa.

The suspects were arrested with three sacks of marijuana rolls that weighed 100 kilogrammes each.

The suspects were arraigned in court that same day and charged with being in possession of banned substance. They were subsequently remanded to Kitgum government prison.

Mr Oringa blamed marijuana trade and consumption on joblessness, adding that the main victims of attacks by people who take marijuana are night travellers.

The problem of drugs and substance abuse has become a huge worry in the country.

Recent studies in schools around Kampala indicate that 62 per cent of secondary school students consume alcohol, 15 per cent take marijuana and another seven per cent use other addictive substances.

In January, the police impounded 27 bags of marijuana from Bukanga Village, in Dabani Sub-county in Busia, destined for sale in Kenya.

Police have often decried the absence of stringent anti-narcotic laws, which they say make convicts get away with fines.

Strict laws needed
Last month, Mr Edward Ochom, the police director of Research and Planning, said if the Narcotics Drug and Psychotropic substances (control) Bill, 1999, is passed, the fight against drugs will be easier.

Early this year, the Inspector General of Police, Lt. Gen. Kale Kayihura, disbanded an entire Anti-Narcotics Unit after receiving reports that they were allegedly conniving with drug lords to either kill cases or evade justice.