Kampala- A section of the public has accused the Local Defence Unit (LDU) personnel of extortion and destroying National Identity cards during night patrols, three months after their pass out.
Dr Livingstone Sewanyana, the executive director of the Foundation for Human Rights Initiative, said he has received several cases of LDU personnel breaking people’s national IDs when they are not given money.
“There is a public outcry; many of these LDUs are causing mayhem, extorting money from people. I have cases where people’s IDs have been broken and yet you know how hard it is to acquire them,” Dr Sewanyana said.
He was speaking at the 10th anniversary of the Citizens Coalition for Electoral Democracy in Uganda (CCEDU), an NGO, in Nsambya, Kampala, yesterday.
Mr Moses Kizige, the minister of State for Karamoja Affairs, also revealed that his son was recently involved in an altercation with an LDU personnel at Namayiba Park in Kampala.
“He [son] dropped someone and as he was turning back, he [LDU officer] said this is one way but when the young man said there are no sign posts, he [LDU personnel] started asking for my son’s driving permit, national ID,” said the minister.
“Then my son asked him if he was a traffic person and the LDU got furious threatened to shoot you. My son got in touch with me and I contacted Asan’s [Kasingye] people who arrested him,” Mr Kizige said.
Mr Kasingye, who is the police chief political commissar, confirmed the minister’s narrative, adding that any LDU personnel caught breaking a national ID will be prosecuted and sacked.
“I am told that when they are at work, they ask for IDs but what they want is money and when you don’t give it to them, they break the ID. My job is to ensure that all our commanders are informed that whoever does that should be prosecuted and should leave,” he said.
The LDUs are a reserve force under the Uganda People’s Defense Forces (UPDF). The UPDF spokesperson, Brig Richard Karemire, said: “In any case of misconduct we receive in regard to UPDF or reserve force, we do investigate and necessary action is taken according to the findings.”