A picture of a Ugandan police officer wielding a heavy lethal weapon [machinegun] at a Tororo opposition rally is making rounds on social media, not in the best regard.
According to Wikipedia, a machine gun is a fully automatic mounted or portable firearm, designed to fire bullets in quick succession from an ammunition belt or magazine, typically at a rate of three hundred to eighteen hundred rounds per minute.
Fully automatic weapons are generally categorized as submachine guns, assault rifles, battle rifles, automatic shotguns, machine guns, or autocannons.
The photo was first shared by Moses Atocon, an FDC social media enthusiast during Kizza Besigye’s short rally in Bugiri town.
It was picked up by Kenneth Anderson Lukwago, a parliamentary report at Radio One.
“A policeman using such a weapon?” Lukwago said and left it at that.
Another Ugandan journalist based in Rwanda, Jacobs Seaman, also took interest in the picture.
“A Ugandan policeman policing an opposition rally. The Pearl that turned into a peril,” he observed.
According to Jacobs, police will start using landmines on opposition rallies.
Opposition sources say once police used explosives on Besigye’s rally in Katwe injuring him and FDC youth activist, Francis Mwijukye.
Sisimuka Uganda activist, Frank Gashumba, was more elaborate and this is what he had to say: “It is a war not an election.”
Gashumba said President Yoweri Museveni has not been in power because people vote him, “he has been in power by using a gun”.
He said men dressed in the official Police uniform were seen carrying PK machine guns in Tororo which, in military terms, are support weapons.
According to Gashumba, the weapon can fire 650 rounds per minute, in simple terms, “this support weapon is meant for battle not to control crowds but the mere fact that men in Police uniform were carrying them. It is a wakeup call to Ugandans”.
He said by bad luck if a man holding such a gun runs mad, in one minute he can kill innocent 650 Ugandans.
Why would Police use such type of guns?
According to the activist, police carries such guns to instil fear in Ugandans and that has been the tool President Museveni has used from day one.
“There is a reason why you separate the military from the police. The military must defend the enemies of the State and the Police must keep law and order but when the Police becomes the Military then the enemies of the State tend to be the innocent citizens of the Country and I don’t know why Africans don’t learn from History because they will always repeat the same mistakes.”
After realizing that Besigye was received in big numbers, continues Gashumba, Police officers on the ground dropped the idea of arresting him because they realized the possible outcome of that confrontation from tough Ugandans from the east.
“Instead of using such war guns, just address what Dr. Kizza Besigye stands for, issues like corruption, unemployment, tribalism, broken healthy system, police brutality etc,” he advised.
He added: “Lastly, even you deploy the latest B-52 stealth bomber, you won’t stop an idea that is ripe. You won’t stop Ugandans from demanding what belongs to them and trust me Change is coming.”