Gen. Otafiire condemns shooting of police officer

Internal Affairs Minister, Maj Gen (Rtd) Kahinda Otafiire has condemned the shooting of a traffic police officer by a UPDF soldier still at large, saying the perpetrator will face justice.

Over the weekend, a Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) soldier shot at a Police Constable Robert Mukebezi. The traffic officer was towing a vehicle that had knocked down the signpost-of-Kobil pump station when he was shot.

Otafiire said having been part of the National Resistance Army that shot its way to power in early 1986, incidents such as those shock him and that there is no way he can make excuses for a military personnel who misuses his firearm.

“I am not going to make any apologies for an officer who shoots people like that; we cannot allow banditry in the forces,” said Otafiire, while he appeared before Parliament’s Committee on Internal Affairs.

MP Theodore Ssekikubo (NRM, Lwemiyaga County) started the conversation on the shooting terming it as  coordinated injustice against police officers.

“To serve as a traffic officer is not a crime; for a brother security force to shoot at him and by the way his leg is going to be amputated; the way police officers are treated is unfair,” he said.

 “I want to thank the Minister for coming out to condemn the shooting of the police officer;  we also want theInspector General of Police to tell us how far they have gone in investigating this,” he said.

MPs also supported police’s plea to have funds increased in support of crime intelligence gathering.

Currently, the force needs Shs304 billion annually for crime intelligence but only gets Shs42.7 billion leaving a gap of Shs261 billion.

The Police presented their budget proposals for the financial Year 2022/23 at Shs840 billion with wages at Shs370.6 billion, non-wage at Shs263 billion and development at Shs2016.2 billion.

Geofrey Ekanya (FDC, Tororo North) said police should look at the welfare of officers’ families saying health insurance and an education fund should be put in place to subsidise for the families of all members of the armed forces starting with police officers.

Ekanya criticised the dilapidated structures in which police officers live, saying with such bad housing, it is impossible to expect good policing from the force.

On the bombs and threats to national stability, Minister Otafiire said incidents such as the blasts in Kampala are part of the Islamic State group efforts to establish a caliphate in East Africa, efforts he said will be thwarted by the security forces.

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