Crime Preventers Misusing Govt Property – Parliament

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In short
Committee chairperson, Benny Namugwanya further notes that the crime preventers have also taken over police duties such as controlling and managing traffic, effecting arrests and manning police cells, which is a cause of human rights violation.

Members of Parliament have directed that government withdraws all government equipment possessed by crime preventers.

Parliaments Defence and Internal Affairs committee observed in its 2016/2017 budget report that whereas the Police force revealed that the crime preventers were demobilized after the 2016 general election, government facilities including motorcycles and bicycles were not withdrawn from them.

"These motorcycles and bicycles are currently being used for commercial private gain despite a shortage of transport facilities especially for the traffic officers," the report to Parliament reads in part.

Committee chairperson, Benny Namugwanya further notes that the crime preventers have also taken over police duties such as controlling and managing traffic, effecting arrests and manning police cells, which is a cause of human rights violation.

But Police Spokesperson Fred Enanga says the enrollment of crime preventers is a continuous process and they are still embedded within the communities to help Police fight crime.

Police says it targets to train an estimated 11 million crime preventers by the end of 2016. However their role during the 2016 general election came under scrutiny on grounds that they were partisan and used to oppress opposition.

A consortium of international and local rights bodies early this year called for the suspension of recruitment of crime preventers, accusing them of being partisan and carrying out brutal arrests.

They said there was no legal structure, mandate and command structure to run their activities.

However, Rose Akol, Internal Affairs minister says a bill is currently before Cabinet outlining their mandate and structures and will soon be tabled in Parliament for consideration.

 

About the author

Olive Eyotaru
Olive Eyotaru is a URN journalist based in Kampala. Eyotaru has been a URN staff member since February 2015.

Eyotaru started practising journalism while still studying at Uganda Christian University. She was a reporter with Ultimate Media Consult Ltd between 2005 and 2007.

In 2009, Eyotaru joined Monitor Publications Limited, under KFM Radio as a parliamentary and business reporter. Consequently, Eyotaru started writing for the Daily Monitor newspaper until January 2015, when she moved to URN.

She is interested in reporting about politics, health, human rights, business and sports.