The Deputy Kampala Metropolitan Spokesperson, Luke Owoyesigyire, said the deployment of traffic officers alongside armed colleagues is in response to President, Yoweri Museveni’s directive during the State of Nation Address last week.
The Police in Kampala Metropolitan has started deploying its
traffic officers alongside armed Field Forces Unit –FFU personnel.
Police through deputy Kampala metropolitan spokesperson, Luke Owoyesigyire,
said the deployment of traffic officers alongside armed colleagues is in
response to President, Yoweri Museveni’s directive during the State of Nation
Address last week.
Speaking about the shooting of Gen Katumba at Kisota road on June 1st, said one
of the traffic officers saw the assailants but he could not pursue them since
he was not armed. The traffic man was standing at Bukoto-Kisota road junction.
Gen Katumba’s car was riddled with bullets between 8:47 am and 9 am an incident
that left his daughter, Brenda Nantongo and driver Haruna Kayondo killed. Museveni
said traffic officers were to be armed so that they could be able to help in
case of incidents similar to Gen Katumba’s happen in their vicinity.
A visit to various major road junctions in Kampala revealed heightened security
for traffic officers as they were paired alongside armed FFU officers. Traffic
officers at Shoprite and Clock Tower traffic lights were having armed FFU
officers standing sideways or just behind them but at a close distance.
Owoyesigyire further elaborated that giving guns to traffic officers would
inconvenience them while executing their duties a reason they have instead
resolved to attach armed police officers purposely to protect their colleagues.
“We have today enforced the directive issued by H.E of deploying all our
traffic officers alongside armed personnel at different junctions in Kampala
metropolitan area. Of course, this will be done all over the country but we
deployed at all junctions in a way to strengthen the security on our traffic
personnel and strengthen the security in communities in case there is a need to
respond to an emergency,” Owoyesigyire said.
//cue in “we have…
Cue out “…emergency”//
Gen Katumba attackers allegedly stopped near a traffic policeman and asked him
where the shooters had gone. The traffic policeman first thought they were
security operatives. By the time he became suspicious, the assailants on
motorcycles had taken to various directions.
Deputy Inspector General of Police, Maj Gen Paul Lokech, said Gen Katumba
assassins spent over 55 minutes in the area. Lokech said if police officers in
the CCTV command centre and those who responded first to the scene communicated
swiftly, the attackers could have been cornered.
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.