AIGP Edward Ochom
The director of Police Operations
Services, AIGP Edward Ochom, has denied banning use of travel letters issued by
Local Council Chairpersons and Resident District Commissioner- RDCs to people with
While declaring a 42 days’ lockdown last
Friday, President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, said LCs and RDCs can issue travel clearance
to people going for medical services such as pregnant mothers and other
However, Kampala Metropolitan police
commander, Moses Kafeero, on Sunday night issued 11 orders among them was to
confiscate all LCs and RDCs letters. “Any occupants with travel documents
signed by LCS and RDCs are not allowed. Confiscate those letters and park the
vehicles and communicate to the supervisors. Keep those letters for our
accountability,” reads order number six.
But AIGP Ochom said as the director of
operations he is not aware of such orders citing president Museveni’s speech where
he authorised LCs and RDCs to issue clearances for emergencies especially
medical related conditions.
“I listened to the president I can’t
be the one to contradict them. If someone needs medical treatment, he or she
can get travel clearance from the Chairman. I have not issued such orders,” said AIGP Ochom.
Nevertheless, a number of police
officers found at various roadblocks said they were following the KMP orders. A
number of people including journalists were stuck on the roads because of these
new KMP orders.
AIGP Ochom, however, said moving in
branded cars and having a job ID putting you in the category of essential workers
is not enough. According to Ochom, companies including media houses must also
give letters explaining why it is important for that particular worker to be on
duty every day.
“We must have a reason why you must
leave your home. Being a nurse or a doctor doesn’t mean you keep moving around
town because you are essential work. You must have proof that you are on duty. A
journalist having an ID is not enough. Not all journalists must be at work. You must
have a limited number at work,” said Ochom.
However, KMP commanders have been urged
to allow branded company vehicles to move. However, all the occupants in those
company branded vehicles must bare IDs for those companies.
“For example if u find a branded car
for Mukwano company and the occupants in that vehicle cannot identify themselves
as workers of Mukwano you arrest the occupants and park the vehicle for further management,”
reads KMP commander’s guidelines.
Senior Staff Reporter
Joseph Kato is currently a Master's candidate at Makerere University. He holds a Bachelors Degree in Mass Communication from Kampala International University, a Diploma in Journalism and he's also a graduate in Guidance and Counseling.