What you need to know:
- Ms Namaye’s statement was issued just hours after the Force’s spokesperson, Fred Enanga said they registered three shooting incidents last week, two of which arose out of anger and rage by a police officer in Mbarara and a Saracen security guard in Tororo Municipality.
- The third shooting was by a police officer in Mukono Municipality, due to a mistaken identity, according to SCP Enanga.
The Inspector General of Police, Martins Okoth Ochola has suspended the operating licenses of 39 private security companies, according to the Force’s deputy spokesperson, Polly Namaye, amid increasing cases of gun violence.
“These companies failed to fulfill some or all of the necessary conditions for license renewal last year (2022) as per Regulation 14(d) of the Police (Control of Private Security Organisations) Regulations 2013,” CP said.
Some of the conditions the firms failed to fulfill are an NSSF certificate of clearance, evidence of payment of gun licensing fees/ gun rental fees and evidence of annual inspection of the company.
“A detailed list of these companies can be found at all Police Stations and Regional Police headquarters. All regional Police Commanders have been instructed to ensure that these companies halt their operations and ensure compliance to the suspension,” Ms Namaye added.
According to her, officers from Private Security and Firearms department have been instructed to conduct withdraw/ recovery of firearms from the respective PSOs.
“Uganda Police Force continues to receive requests for license reinstatement from PSOs whose licenses were previously suspended,” she said adding that the suspension will be lifted depending on whether the necessary conditions for renewal of the license have been fulfilled.
“The Directorate of Operations has developed Standard Operating Procedures for all Private security Companies. Each PSO has been supplied a copy of the SOPs for compliance. Important to note is that each Private Security Guard shall receive mandatory training based on a standard training curriculum. Deployment of security guards shall depend on their successful accomplishment of this mandatory training,” Ms Namaye explained in a Tuesday statement following several reported cases of gun violence across the country, many of which involve guards attached to private firms.
Ms Namaye’s statement was issued just hours after the Force’s spokesperson, Fred Enanga said they registered three shooting incidents last week, two of which arose out of anger and rage by a police officer in Mbarara and a Saracen security guard in Tororo Municipality.
The third shooting was by a police officer in Mukono Municipality, due to a mistaken identity, according to SCP Enanga.
“The investigations so far reveal that the shooting, were not as a result of organised crime, or an attack targeting the community, but a string of isolated and reckless shootings. As the Joint Security Agencies, we remain concerned over the recent string of shootings, which points to a larger societal problem. Life is not valued the way it was before. For instance, the two shootings, in Tororo and Mbarara, were over petty conflicts, that led to the death of two people,” he said.
In Tororo, a one Moses Okedi, a 35-year-old Saracen guard allegedly shot dead his colleague over failure to return his Simcard and Saracen Staff Sacco Membership Card. He was arrested on murder charges.
In Mbarara, Police Constable Chrales Opio shot dead Cpl Turyamureba Yeremiah, a UPDF officer attached to Ruhengyere Engineering Brigade in Kiruhura District over a woman.
“It was therefore, a crime of passion. The suspect developed a motive earlier in the day, on May 19, 2023 at 3pm, when he allegedly saw the victim befriending his girlfriend and taking selfies. Three hours later he still found the two together, and he shot a single bullet to the chest, killing a colleague officer instantly. The suspect was arrested and the killer weapon recovered,” Mr Enanga said.
On May 20 at about 1am, a one ASP Dismas Tebangole, a 57-year-old counter terrorism officer shot and wounded a one Natasha Nagayi, a 21-year-old Uganda Christian University (UCU) student after he mistook her for a burglar at his home in Nabuti village, Mukono Municipality.
“It was established that the victim joined other OBs and OGs at Fox Club in Mukono for a party, where she delayed till late and could not return to her hostel. One of her OBS, called Ashraf Bandishe surrendered his room for her and another OG called Natukunda. It was established that a boda boda rider who transported her took her to a different estate and showed her a house which belonged to the officer. The victim is out of danger after getting treatment from Kawolo Hospital and Mulago National Referral Hospital. The officer remains in custody pending the outcome from the office of the DPP,” Mr Enanga added.
According to police, the “slight increase in such reckless type shootings” in the last two months over petty conflicts/disputes shows that people are getting desperate, according to Mr Enanga.
“Other shootings are often the result of domestic violence, personal disputes/arguments, poverty, range and anger, jealously, mental health among others, which all contribute to crime. What the public should know is that suppressing the aggressive conduct of an officer or security guard remains a priority. We are working with other security agencies and partners like private security organisations to ensure we have the right policies, intelligence, detection and enforcement. As you are all aware, gun violence had reduced greatly in the past due to intensive policing and a strict gun policy,” SCP Enanga.