CID Spokesperson, Charles Twine, admits that investigation and prosecution of car thieves is one of the most challenging crimes. Twine attributes the difficulties to victims who negotiate with arrested suspects before cases go to court.
Analysis of the police’s last three year records on car thefts
shows less than 25 percent of cases are taken to court.
The statistics compiled by Criminal Investigations Directorate- CID indicates
that police registered 1,114 car thefts countrywide in 2019 but only 244 were
taken to court which translates into 21.9 percent. A total of 870 cases were
Although vehicle thefts increased to 1,200 in 2018, still CID took only 21
percent of cases to court. Detectives submitted 253 case files to court leaving
947 cases hanging. The scenario was not different in 2017 as only 298 out of 1,422
cases were taken to court.
One of the victims of car theft who preferred anonymity because police helped
him recover some money from a car thief, alleges that culprits often connive
with police operatives to steal vehicles and sell them to neighbouring
countries particularly the Democratic Republic of Congo-DRC.
The man claims his car was valued at over 25 Million Shillings but when it was
stolen, he reported a case at Kampala Central Police Station –CPS. He was
shocked when the suspect was arrested and five turned up accusing the same
“To my surprise, policemen were the ones urging us to agree with the suspect so
that he could refund part of our money. I only got 15 million shillings. The
suspect confessed that he had sold our vehicles to DR Congo. The suspect was
never seen again,” said the victim who does some business with the police.
Milton Turyatunga, whose car was stolen but safely recovered, said it requires having
connections at all border points and timely reporting is vital.
“My car was stolen when I was still conducting the transfer
process. I alerted 999 Patrol but also contacted my security friends at all DR
Congo border points. It was intercepted and returned to me,” Turyatunga said.
CID Spokesperson, Charles Twine, admits that investigation and prosecution of
car thieves is one of the most challenging crimes. Twine attributes the
difficulties to victims who negotiate with arrested suspects before cases go to
“The biggest challenge we have had is the complainants who are more driven to
recover the vehicle. The culprits in most cases rush to compensate the owners
once they are arrested. The cases end up being dismissed because there are no
witnesses,” Twine said.
//cue in “but the biggest…
Cue out “…prosecution process”//
CID indicates that cars whose consumption does not exceed 2000 cc are the most
targeted by culprits because they have a ready market in and outside Uganda. These
include Premio, Spacio, Raum and Vitz.
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.