Police have acquired a set of 65 new equipment worth billions of shillings that will among others be used to deal with civil disobedience in the country.
The equipment including 15 armored personnel carriers and 50 riot control vehicles was on Thursday afternoon unveiled by the Deputy Inspector General of Police, Maj Gen Geoffrey Katsigazi Tumusiime at the Police headquarters in Naguru.
Speaking at the function, the Police Logistics director, AIGP Richard Edyegu described the equipment as state of the art that will be used to address emerging challenges in their ay today policing of the country.
“The main objective of the equipment was to equip the Filed Force Unit with improved versions of armored personnel carriers and riot control vehicles that would handle the current operational challenges but to also improve the Anti Stock Theft Unit(ASTU) in Karamoja by providing personnel with safer and quicker means of transport as they protect our people in those areas,” AIGP Edyegu said.
He said part of the equipment will be taken to Somalia to replace the old armoured personnel carriers used by the Uganda Police Force component deployed in the country under African Union.
The police logistics director however noted that the equipment was purchased more than two years before the Covid pandemic, adding that it delayed during manufacture.
“These items should have arrived here earlier than this but we had a challenge of Covid. Factories were closed, personnel were not there and when they eventually reopened, the shipping companies had issues to get space to load the equipment.”
He said whereas part of the fleet had arrived, another set is still at Mombasa and will son arrive into the country.
The Deputy Inspector General of Police, Maj Gen Geoffrey Katsigazi Tumusiime said the new equipment will help the force in its policing mandate.
“Our operational readiness in crowd management and other areas where this equipment is to be deployed will improve. To the people of Uganda, this is one evidence that police is ready to serve you better to ensure you are well protected together with your property,” Maj Gen Katsigazi said.
The deputy police chief however urged the commanders to utilize the new equipment well to ensure it lasts long.
“It is upon you the final users to ensure they are properly used well. You need to maintain and operate them well to ensure they last longer.”
The anti-riot equipment
By acquiring anti-riot equipment, the police are adding onto the already existing fleet, with the previous one purchased ahead of the 2016 general election.
During the Thursday function, the police leadership witnessed a demonstration of how the equipment including water cannons and armored personnel carriers are used.
The water cannons released a high speed torrent of water to depict a situation where they are used to disperse rioters but also have sprays that discharge pepper but also clear debris off the road.
The equipment also has cameras to monitor the surrounding.
Police have in the past been blamed for spending so much on purchasing equipment to stifle dissent voices against government, especially from the opposition but ignoring salient issues like welfare of its officers.
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