Museveni to IGP Ochola: Stop random shootings under police command

Saturday September 19 2020
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A photo combo of President Museveni (left) and IGP Okoth Ochola (right). PPU/FILE PHOTOS

By Job Bwire

Following the loss of several lives in the electoral violence that marred the recently concluded NRM primaries, President Museveni has directed the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Okoth Ochola, to ensure that there is a published manual/booklet on gun use in Uganda by October 15, 2020.

"I am writing to direct you to stop the random shootings by the LDUs and police, all under the command of police. There was shooting dead of one person in Katakwi, one person in Bugiri, two people in Isingiro etc," Mr Museveni said before adding that his investigations had revealed that many, if not all the shootings were unnecessary.

Katakwi shooting

In Katakwi, civilians were reportedly fighting among themselves during the recently concluded NRM elections.

One Teddy Akiror, a resident of Kapujan village, Kapujan Sub County in Katakwi District was on September 4, 2020 shot dead as police and soldiers attempted to break a fight between supporters of the incumbent LC5 chairperson, Walter Elakas Okiring and the incumbent Toroma MP, Andrew Joseph Kolou, in Apule village.


During security intervention, two other people were left with bullet wounds and rushed to hospital.

The police spokesperson for East Kyoga, David Ongom Mudong then said all the suspects in the alleged shooting had been arrested and detained at Central Police Station, Katakwi.

Pancake vendor shot dead in Bugiri electoral violence

In Bugiri District, a woman was shot dead during a procession by voters protesting the delayed release of results from the NRM primaries for the district Woman Member of Parliament.

Ms Florence Muganda was hit by a stray bullet while selling pancakes by the roadside when a combined security of the army and police opened fire to disperse a group of voters who were marching to Bugiri Central Police Station to demand the declaration of the results.

"It is said that in Bugiri, some members of the public stoned the armed personnel. That was bad. However, shooting to kill should not have been the first option. They should have identified the stone thrower and arrested him for prosecution. The shooting, if at all, should have been to disperse, which would mean shooting in the air. You should analyse incident by incident," Mr Museveni writes in a letter dated September 9, 2020 and posted on his social media platforms on Saturday (September 19).

Three shot dead in Isingiro

In Isingiro District, three people lost their lives in NRM electoral violence on September 3. The deceased were identified as Wilber Nkabadiho, a resident of Katuragye village Katuragye Sub-county, Musa Bright, a resident of Rugaga trading centre and Gordon Muhumuza, 20, a resident of Karo A111, central ward Kabuyanda town council.

The Rwizi region police spokesperson, Mr Samson Kasasira then told journalists that Nkabandiho was shot by a private guard, Siddi Katiikiro, who fired at rowdy voters in Katuragye cell in Isingiro town council.

Nkabandiho was a polling agent of Dr Ponsiano Mugyenyi, the rival of Bright Rwamirama, Isingiro County MP. 

Musa was shot by a UPDF soldier in Rugaga trading centre and died on the way to Mbarara regional referral hospital.

According to Kasasira, Musa was hit as UPDF officers dispersed supporters of Jeremiah Kamurari, one of the candidates for Bukanga West.

Muhumuza on the other hand, was lynched by the mob when he allegedly tried to interfere with the electoral process.

Public Order Management

According to the president, the Public Order Management is well structured and sequenced.

"Shooting must only be on command and not by individual security personnel letting off guns. Secondly, the standing order of riot control should always be followed to the latter. These include diplomacy- telling people to disperse; proclamation by using hand-held phones to warn them to disperse; inform them of your intention to use forceful means; use of non-lethal means like tear gas; using shields, fire live bullets in the air and only firing to disable if the rioters are charging forward unstoppably and endangering the lives of the security personnel, i.e in self-defense," he added.

Mr Museveni further said no one should be allowed to carry a gun anywhere in Uganda on behalf of the state and engage in dealing with the public if they are not aware of the said procedures.

"Each police post must have a copy of these procedures and all police personnel and LDUs attached to policing areas, individually, must be conversant to the last letter of these procedures. UPDF units in case they need to support the police must first be educated about these procedures. Nobody should ever be deployed to deal with the public if he/ she is not first sensitized about these procedures,' he said.

Private security firms

The president said private security organisations are not mandated to deal with the public.

"They are, mainly hired to guard homes and properties against thieves and robbers. The rules of engagement of these are clear: Do not allow break-ins into the properties you are hired to protect, he said.