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Police Charges for Public Order Management Services

Uganda Radio Network has learnt that Police, the state agency mandated with maintaining law and order, asks for payment from people seeking public order management services at weddings, prayer crusades, exhibitions, football matches and musical concerts.

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Police has been charging citizens for public order management services.

Uganda Radio Network has learnt that Police, the state agency mandated with maintaining law and order, asks for payment from people seeking public order management services at weddings, prayer crusades, exhibitions, football matches and musical concerts.

Payments have also been sought for deployment at night prayers as well as outdoor meetings by politicians and non-government organizations among others.

Although section 9 of the Public order Management Act places the duty of securing public meetings and gathering in the hands of police, these payments have  been the defining factor of the police manpower deployed at such public gatherings.

For every policeman deployed, the organizers have paid not less than 20,000 Shillings while 50,000 Shillings is paid for the deployment of a commander and a police patrol vehicle comes with fuel expenses.

However, Police Spokesperson and Director Human Resource Development Andrew Felix Kaweesi says that the only acceptable fee charged for public order management is against money generating activities. He adds that apart from facilitating personnel, it serves as a source for government revenue.

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Before 2013, police used to charge only for services that are solicited by individuals and event organizers.

However, the passing of Public Order Management Act mandates all organizers to inform police of any planned public meeting of more than 3 persons. Police is then expected to secure the meeting, direct traffic and manage order once the meeting is approved.

Julius Oketch is one of the Ugandans who have paid for security at a wedding.

He says; "Before the wedding we held a meeting with police in relation to security of the wedding. They asked if we needed police security and upon saying yes, we were given a bill of about 1.7million Shillings.

After a few minutes of bargaining, we agreed on 1million Shillings which was later paid to the officer In charge of Gulu Police Station, he adds.

Kaweesi however says that functions like weddings that don't generate income are supposed to be secured at no cost and it's wrong for any police officer to attach a fee to the service.

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Initially, the police only charged for companies and other institutions that sought to have police officers guard their premises as Kaweesi explains.

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