City lawyer, Male Mabirizi has dragged the Ugandan government to court over the recruitment and existence of Local Defence Unit personnel.
In a petition filed on Monday, before the Civil division of the High Court in Kampala, Mabirizi says it is illegal for UPDF under President Museveni’s command and guidance from cabinet to sanction the recruitment, training and maintenance of LDUs whose members are not from the UPDF, Uganda Police Force or Uganda Prisons Service.
“The President of the Republic of Uganda, the Uganda People’s Defence Forces or the cabinet have no powers to raise an armed force that is not provided for under the law,”Mabirizi says.
In his suit, the lawyer wants court to declare the recruitment, deployment and maintaining of an armed force named Local Defence Unit (LDU) illegal and the UPDF stopped from any further recruitment of the same.
However, according to the UPDF spokesperson, everything they do is within the precincts of the law.
“The UPDF never does things outside the law. Now that Mr.Mabirizi has taken the matter to court, it will be sorted out there,”Brig. Karemire said.
“Meanwhile we will continue with our LDUs program to consolidate peace in the country.”
Following the gruesome murder of former Buyende District Police Commander ASP Muhammad Kirumira last year in Bulenga, along the Kampala- Mityana road, President Museveni announced a move by government to recruit 24000 Local Defence Unit personnel to beef up security in the greater Kampala area.
Museveni said these would reinforce the army and police to ensure security following the rising wave of criminality especially in the Kampala Metropolitan policing area and its surroundings.
“Kampala has 1000 villages and we shall fill them with manpower and our guns will answer these criminals. We shall see which guns have more effect,”Museveni said.
The President’s idea meant that on average, each village in Kampala will have 24 LDU guards.
The LDUs according to Museveni are meant to complement police, private security guards, the UPDF and private individual efforts aimed at ensuring security within the country.