Maverick Buyende District Police Commander, Muhammad Kirumira has dared his boss, the Inspector General of Police Gen kale Kayihura to account for the rising crime rates in the country.
Kirumira was addressing journalists at his home in Wakiso. The controversial police officer was protesting the manner in which he is being handled by the police force.
He vented anger towards the force which he accused of being selective in enforcing discipline among officers as well as operating with criminals. Kirumira then took swipe at his boss Kayihura whom he tasked to account for the rise in crime in the country despite the force enlisting millions of crime preventers.
“We brag that we have 11 million crime preventers, but crime is only rising day in day out and everybody who speaks is charged with unlawful communication. I am ready to suffer any amount of charges. Let them come and pick me from my home,” Kirimira said while announcing his house location.
Kirumira accused the police force of collaborating with criminals to justify large budget cuts from the central government.
“What is wrong is discrimination in the force, finding someone doing good work then they (Police) get self confessed criminals you are running after and they use them against you,” Kirumira said.
I was arrested in 2012 for allegedly beating up a criminal called Kato Pius who was the head of counterfeit circulation in Nansana. I was acquitted by court, now they are accusing me of the same in a different version. I came to old Kampala when I was tough on kifeesi but because Kifeesi is connected to some forces in police, I was moved to Buyende. I spoke about Kitata but they dismissed me. Today where are they?” he added.
He also claimed that certain police officers are using self proclaimed Kifeesi leader Sobi for personal gains, with this he mentioned specific officers in top management. He also accused the force of giving notorious group Boda Boda 2010 unlimited freedom to violate the rights of other citizens by engaging in infinite crime.
“Boda Boda 2010 was to manage the boda industry, the mistake they did was to let them manage professional operations of the police. How can police condone such criminals?”
Kirumira however stated that he will not relinquish highlighting the issues in the police force even if it means facing the worst.
“If correcting the image of the police requires some of us to be sacrificed, I am available for any form of death of imprisonment but my position is, let us not promote criminality while in our uniforms.”
Kirumira is not the only one who shares this view, a former Inspector General of Police, Julius Odwe last week made blistering comments on the police, saying that the force under Gen Kale Kayihura has been reduced to a protector of criminal gangs.
Odwe, pointing out to elements like Boda Boda 2010 patron Abdallah Kitatta said that the police force is infiltrated with “criminals who masquerade as police officers.”
“If it’s not true, why wouldn’t they arrest criminals like Kitatta and wait for [Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence] to arrest them?” Odwe said.
While passing out over 700,000 crime preventers in Kapchorwa in December, Kayihura lashed out at critics saying the force would continue recruiting more crime preventers as they were helping to curb crime.
The number passed out in Kapchorwa brought the total of crime preventers to 11 million in Uganda and parliament passed a Shs 37 billion budget to cater for them.
However, since the declaration of the millions of crime preventers, crime has shot up in the different regions in the country.
At least 23 women were gruesomely murdered under unclear circumstances last year in Wakiso district, rising doubts on the country’s security.
A report from the ministry of internal affairs indicates that over 19000 guns are illegally by civilians which explains the increasing wave of gun-related killings. The gun killing can not go without mention that the police force has lost several of its men in shooting incidences including former spokesperson Andrew Felix Kawesi who was gunned down in broad day light together with his body guard and driver in 2017.