Uganda Police Force-UPF has resolved to procure more Unmanned
Aerial Vehicles-UAV alias drones to improve aerial surveillance and response to
crime incidents. According to police sources, the decision in line with the
president’s comments during the State of the Nation Address on the need for the
forces to have Unmanned Aerial Vehicles to boost surveillance.
Museveni’s comments were prompted by findings by a joint security
team indicating the attacked assailants who tried to kill the former Chief of
Defense Forces-CDF Gen. Edward Katumba Wamala spent over 50 minutes rotating in
the area after their botched mission.
The assailants showered the vehicle of Gen. Katumba with
bullets along Kisota road in Kawempe on June 1st, 2021 killing his
daughter Brenda Nantongo and driver Haruna Kayondo. Gen. Katumba escaped with
bullets lodged in his body. According to security experts, the attackers could
have been cornered if there was a timely response with the help of good surveillance
as the Unmanned Aerial Vehicles.
After scrutinising video footage on the incident, the Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Maj. Gen Paul Lokech said the four assailants moving
on motorcycles spent over 50 minutes in the area. Maj. Gen Lokech explained that
they had reviewed the incident and come up with a robust program to counter and
detect surveillance to deny criminals future opportunities to attack.
//Cue in “as much…
Cue out “…attack,”//
Apparently, police use helicopters for day and night surveillance when the need arises. The helicopters
are fitted with cameras and floodlights to help in the night surveillance. According
to sources, police also own five drones and balloons, which they deploy at mammoth
gatherings such as the Uganda Martyrs Day celebration in Namugongo every June
However, this is bound to change as the police leadership has
reportedly tasked the Director of Information Communication Technology –ICT,
Felix Baryamwisaki to list whatever is needed to establish a robust UAV system.
UAVs alias drones are powered aerial vehicles, which are remote-controlled
The UAV system can be used to spy and attack suspected
criminal elements without necessarily sending personnel.
Fred Enanga, says that UAVs system is part of the CCTV project, which they are
gradually improving. However, our
reporter couldn’t establish how many drones the police intends to procure. Source
also indicate that police have embarked on ensuring that the vehicles of Very
Very Important Persons [VVIPs] are mounted with security cameras with the
capacity of sending signals and sound in case of an attack.
Brig Flavia Byekwaso, said UAVs are some of the areas the force hopes to
improve in the nearby future. One of the crime incidents that received timely
response using real-time intelligence provided by CCTVs in 2020 included the rescue
of Indian national Ms Poofa, the general manager of Com-Coil Company Limited after being kidnapped by motorcyclists.
The patrol team swung into action and
rescued her within 2 hours.
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.