President Yoweri Museveni has castigated the police force for perpetuating crime, describing officers as ‘Kawukumi’ – loosely-translated in English to wit bean weevils.
Speaking at the function to mark the International Women’s Day in Mityana today, Mr. Museveni, who last week fired former Inspector General of Police (IGP) Kale Kayihura alongside security minister Lt. Gen. Henry Tumukunde, emphasized that efforts are underway to address the rising crime rate especially in urban areas, whose victims in the recent past have largely been women.
The President said last year’s murder of women in Entebbe, Nansana and the family attacks that were witnessed in various parts of Masaka were as a result of police being infested with ‘weevils’.
“Some of these killers were being arrested, but our police was starting to get infested by weevils,” said the President, who likes using proverbs.
He also likened hunting criminals in Kampala today to looking for a ‘needle in a haystack’, but reiterated his guarantee that government is investing heavily in equipping the police with modern technology including ‘surveillance cameras’ to help in tracking down criminals, who exploit the rapid development and expansion of urban areas to hide from justice.
Last year, while at the funeral of slain Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIGP) Andrew Felix Kaweesi, who was gunned down by unknown assailants, the President directed the former IGP Kale Kayihura to ‘put his house in order’.
However, this did not add up as crime persisted, with some police officers being accused of conniving with criminals.
“We had a weakness in the Police. There were weevils there,” the President said without revealing naming specific officers.
The President also took swipe at the Uganda Prisons officers who were in charge when two murder suspects escaped during a court session in Masaka a week ago.
The officers, who the President referred to the prison warders as ‘buno obusirikale bwa Prisons’ (these little Prison warders), said they un-cuffed the prisoners and did nothing when they escaped. He also wondered why suspects are un-handcuffed when in court.
“I don’t know where these rules come from. I was never consulted about them,” charged the President.
He added: “These are two men who killed five people. I personally went to Bukomansimbi, and participated in their arrest and we got them all. And here you have four Prison guards, and the judges are sitting there with their wigs, and the guards are there dozing, and the killers are not cuffed!”
When the President looked around for the Commissioner General of Prisons Johnson Byabashaija to give an explanation, he seemed not to be present at the function.
“He must be out there hunting for the escapees,” joked the President before ordering that the men who escaped must be rearrested.
The Prisons spokesperson Frank Baine, has since explained that the escapees, Musa Galiwango and Muhammad Kidawalime took advantage their freed hands and the fact that the court was crowded to run away.
“You know that we are not allowed to hand cuff prisoners in court. So they took advantage and run away. Our officers could not fire bullets because there were many people around court,” said Baine.
The President assured the nation that he wants ensure that the new changes in police and security docket should crack down on criminals.