Uganda: Check Indiscipline in Security Forces- MPs

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A statement by the Internal Affairs State Minister, Gen David Muhoozi on the shooting of traffic police officer, PC Robert Mukebezi has rekindled a debate on the conduct of security officers, with MPs calling for action against the culpable.

Mukebezi was shot at by a one Cpl Bashir Mango Babangida of the Uganda People’s Defence Force, and sustained severe injuries that led to amputation of his leg.

In his statement, Gen Muhoozi chronicled the incident and management of PC Mukebezi thereafter. “The patient is now out of danger and steadily responded to treatment; he was discharged from hospital last Friday and is recovering from his home in Mukono; he will return to hospital for review,” he said.

He added that, ‘It is hoped that the amputation after effects will cease in due course paving way for the rehabilitative phase of his management’.

MPs, however, were quick to condemn the behavior of certain members of the security forces, who they said are creating a pattern of indiscipline, impunity and violence. “We wanted to know which other punitive measures you have put in place such that these occurrences do not remain forever,” said MP Stephen Kisa (NRM, Luuka South).

Security Minister, Hon Jim Muhwezi came in defense of the forces disowning the impunity and saying such infractions earn perpetrators severe punishment. “These cases [of violence] are reported in UPDF, Police and Uganda Wildlife Authority; these are individual criminal acts which government condemns and those that are responsible are punished; some people [the errant security operatives] have been shot…firing squad,” he said.

Deputy Speaker, Anita Among directed Muhwezi to present a list detailing all reported cases of impunity and violence and the actions that the security establishment has taken against the adversely named individuals. “Can I have a list of those people, we look at it, and the action taken? I give you one week [to present it] since you already have it,” she said. “These things [violence by some security actors] are not good for our society; let’s instill discipline in the army and police; if somebody doesn’t know how to hold a gun, remove it from him,” she added.

The Deputy Speaker promised to dedicate a day for plenary to exhaustively debate the matter and present solutions.

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