Luweero Crime Preventers Armed At Independence Function Top story

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In short
Residents and local leaders in Luweero have protested the arming of crime preventers at a function to mark 53rd Independence Anniversary.

Residents and local leaders in Luweero have protested the arming of crime preventers at a function to mark 53rd Independence Anniversary.
Luweero district marked the 53 years of Independence at Bukalasa Agricultural College playground in Wobulenzi town council.The theme for the day was "Striving for a prosperous people and country: The meaning of true independence."
As is norm, officers from the Uganda Police Force, Uganda Prisons Service and students engaged in marching before Luweero LC 5 Chairman Abdul Nadduli who was chief guest and inspected the guards of honour.
Unlike before, police in Luweero armed the crime preventers with rifles of 303 type to participate in parade and maintain security at the event.
The crime preventers who were around 30 have spent only three weeks training at Kasana Playground. They have undergone training in community policing courses aimed at empowering them with self defense skills, ideological orientation, crime prevention and patriotism.
Geoffrey Kaddu a resident of Kiwogozi zone in Luweero town explained that they expected the crime preventers to use sticks instead of guns at the parade.
Kaddu argues that the crime preventers are not trained enough to handle guns and arming them at public function was risky.
Charles Ssebyala, the Luweero town LC 3 Chairman, wondered how the crime preventers who had only several weeks training could be allowed to access guns at a public function.
Ssebyala believes this display shows police may arm crime preventers in security operations. Ssebyala says these under trained recruits could kill innocent people during such operations. 
Joan Mwanje a resident of Nakadingidi zone in Wobulenzi fears that since most of the youths that were recruited as crime preventers are jobless, they may use the guns to rob the communities.
Julius Caesar Tusingirwe, the Savannah Regional Police Commander, regretted the arming of the crime preventers at the function and said they were not supposed to access guns.
Tusingirwe, however, explained that the guns which the crime preventers used are only for parade purposes and did not have ammunition.
On Thursday, the crime preventers backed by police beat up striking students at Kyambogo University. Siraje Bakaleke, the Kampala East Police Commander, described the act as illegal and vowed to penalize them for crime promotion.
On 30th September this year, three crime preventers in Kabale district were arrested by police in connection with the death of Wilson Karuru. Karuru was beaten unconscious after witnesses claim he tried to rape Jesca Hesimana.
Recently opposition MPs accused the government recruiting militias under the guise of crime preventers. Masaka MP Mathias Mpuuga claims the ill trained crime preventers are meant to intimidate opposition party politicians and their supporters ahead of the 2016 general elections.


About the author

Brian Luwaga
Since Brian Luwaga joined Uganda Radio Network in 2011, he is still amazed how, "URN is a place that gives journalists a chance to enhance their skills . It gives a journalist an opportunity to adopt and master various aspects of journalism that include radio broadcast, social media, photography and television production."

A practicing journalist since 2009, first with Star FM, Luwaga has always been keen to write about the concerns of the "common person." Based for much of his career in Luweero, Luwaga takes it as a compliment if politicians complain that his reporting is too harsh.

In his journalism, Luwaga likes to merge the past with the present. He believes you cannot understand what is happening now, if you do not have a grounding in the past. Brian Luwaga is the Luweero URN bureau chief. Nakasongola, Nakaseke, Mityana, Mubende and Wakiso districts fall under his docket.

Luwaga is interested in humanitarian work and is a keen Rotarian.