FDC accuse government of training militia groups ahead of 2016 elections

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In short
Reagan Okumu, the acting President of FDC says all over the country government has embarked on training of crime preventers, patriotic groups and youth brigades at this time which he says is questionable because he thinks it is aimed at recruiting people to support the ruling party.

Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) has expressed concern over the move by government to recruit and train youths all over the country in the various paramilitary groups ahead of the 2016 elections.

Reagan Okumu, the acting President of FDC says all over the country government has embarked on training of crime preventers, patriotic groups and youth brigades at this time which he says is questionable because he thinks it is aimed at recruiting people to support the ruling party.

He says according to the law, the commander in chief for all armed forces in the country is the President and by government recruiting and training the youths they know the youths ones trained will pay allegiance to their commander and therefore support NRM.

He also accused some of the para-military groups of actively participating in beating members of opposition during the recent spate where police clamped down on opposition politicians and their supporters.

According to Okumu, police and the army who are responsible for training what he referred to as militia groups to explain why they training is taking place now and whether there is need for group of people before the elections.

//Cue in: "all the time when there is…"
Cue out: …when order will be defied."//

Two weeks ago police was involved in a running battle with opposition leader Kizza Besigye and his supporters in Kasangati Wakiso district when he planned to officially launched his campaign to become FDC party presidential flag bearer.

However during the day a number people who were not in uniforms were seen beating members of the public who had turned for the rally after police teargased the supporters as they claimed the rally was not cleared.

However when contacted over the concerns expressed by MP Reagan Okumu, police spokesperson Fred Enanga denies any knowledge of training other groups such as patriotic clubs and youth brigades but he says crime preventer are trained to help police in keeping law and order in the communities.

He however denied reports that the crime preventers are been armed and instructed to beat members of the opposition parties. He says if anybody finds a crime preventer with a gun he or she must inform the police because they are not supposed to be armed. Ends
 

 

About the author

Ronald Batre
Ronald Batre is so passionate about journalism that he did not wait to finish school before he started his career. This is how he started with Radio Paidha, The West Niler, Daily Monitor newspapers and later with Radio Pacis as Assistant News Editor.

To be allowed to practice his passion, Batre had struck a deal with his parents. He would complete his education. He kept his word and went through school while suporting himself with his journalism.

Entering the workplace so young attuned Batre to the plight of the youth and those who seek employment. Apart from that, he is interested in reporting about politics, local government, business and the environment. A witness to some of the destructive impact of the Lord's Resistance Army rebellion in northern Uganda, Batre is interested in reporting about peace building efforts too.

Uganda Radio Network's former Gulu bureau chief, Batre is now based in Kampala. He is URN's main politics correspondent. He has been a URN staff member since 2009.