Uganda: Police Is Letting Ugandans Down

Unknown people on Tuesday night simultaneously stormed two offices of law firms representing former presidential candidate John Patrick Amama Mbabazi in the election petition challenging the victory of President Yoweri Museveni.

However, the response of the Uganda Police Force (UPF) to this incident has been strange. Some officials, including the government spokesman, seemed to suggest that this was a stage-managed act by Mbabazi's lawyers intended to evoke sympathy.

The conduct of police in the recent past, especially during the presidential campaigns, has been clearly partisan. For instance, when supporters of candidate Mbabazi fought with those of President Museveni, the inspector general of police rushed to the scene and airlifted injured NRM supporters and later paid some of them.

President Museveni later ordered for the arrest of Mbabazi's supporters who were involved in the fight. Many were arrested before police had investigated who had caused the clash - they straightaway declared the opposition supporters criminals!

Ultimately, this led to the arrest and mysterious disappearance of the former head of security for candidate Mbabazi, Christopher Aine. Since then, many people have been disappearing without explanation. Others have been detained without trial on grounds of being opposition supporters.

The Constitution guarantees the right to associate or belong to any group of one's choosing. Therefore, citizens are free to express support for any candidate or political party.

The NRM government prides in having returned peace and security to the country; but how can one be assured of security of person and property when offices are raided under the cover of darkness and police fails to investigate?

It has now become common for people who claim to be security operatives in unregistered cars to kidnap others and dump them in suspicious places. And yet police feigns ignorance about some of these incidents.

If police cannot know, then who will? Who is in charge of all these proliferating security agencies that claim to be doing security work?

If police cannot be trusted with the citizens' security, then who will fulfill that duty?

Surely, police ought to pull up its socks and perform its duty

Source: All Africa