Kampala Lord Mayor, Erais Lukwago, has formed a special squad to neutralise the “crime preventers” being trained by Maj. Roland Kakooza Mutale in Luweero jungles.
Police said in a statement over the weekend that crime preventers were not militias but an extension of the police force.
Lukwago says as the 2016 political tempo gathers momentum, various militias and paramilitary outfits have been trained and launched under the guise of crime prevention, patriotism and wealth creation.
He quotes a video footage that ran in the NTV prime news on Friday where the notorious leader of Kalangala Action Plan, Kakooza Mutale, was seen in a “ballistic and combative mood”, threatening to crush anyone who would dare block their ”mulaaro” [pastoralist] in the forthcoming presidential election.
“I would therefore wish to pick your mind on the plausible and lawful measures that we, the opposition and all peace loving Ugandans, should adopt to counter the said criminal elements and their nefarious actions as we prepare to resolutely defend the will of the people in the forthcoming general elections.”
Lukwago delivered on his promise to come up with a countermeasure hence the launching of his new squad “truth and justice crew” in Rubaga, a Kampala suburb.
Uganda’s leading daily newspaper, New Vision describes the squad as “mean-looking men and women were clad in green and black T-shirts inscribed with words TJ solidarity crew”.
Lukwago said the group of over 70 youths is a well-trained and disciplined force that is not going to incite violence but rather contain actions of the crime preventers meant to oppress President Yoweri Museveni’s opponents.
“It’s unfortunate that due to fear of competition, our friends in the ruling party resorted to training young people under the guise of crime preventers to clobber the opposition but we are not going to allow this,” Lukwago is quoted as saying.
Lukwago, however, said his group is not armed to cause mayhem nor are they a militia group, warlords, or a kiboko squad but will “guard against people who intend to cause havoc for instance rigging the presidential and general elections.”
Police deputy spokesperson, Polly Namaye, told politicians to desist forming militia groups.
“Police is the only institution mandated to keep law and order in partnership with the public in a committed and professional manner in order to promote development,” Polly told the newspaper.