The Prime Minister Dr Ruhakana Rugunda has defended the training of crime preventers as a necessary measure aimed at safeguarding the country from people who are keen on undermining the fundamentals of the NRM liberation struggle.
Rugunda said the crime preventers programme was sanctioned by government, adding that crime preventers are now the eyes and ears of the state at the community level.
The Premier made the remarks on Saturday at Kabale stadium while passing out crime preventers who had undergone training with the support of the Uganda Police Force.
“Community members should be trained to be able to defend the revolution,” Rugunda said urging the people of Kabale to support the crime preventers initiative.
He said crime preventers should not be equated to small illegal groups organized by some people on partisan grounds.
“This programme will be strengthened because it helps in the implementation of Government programmes. Crime preventers don’t belong to any particular political party. These are Ugandans who are patriotic and ready to advance the transformation of Uganda into a middle income country,” Rugunda said.
He said Government would support crime preventers through operation wealth creation to ensure that they enhance their household incomes and the growth of the economy.
The Premier pledged 10 million shillings to support the training of crime preventers in the district.
The Inspector General of Police, Gen. Kale Kayihura said 40,000 crime preventers had so far been trained in Kabale district adding that the national target was 11 million people.
“Those opposed to this programme are enemies of the people of Uganda,” Kayihura said, explaining that the programme was launched by the President and was organized around the strength of the local people as a system of security.
He thanked the members of parliament, district leaders and the youth who are coordinating the programme which is now the foundation of neighbourhood watch and intelligence system.
Kayihura said there was need to increase the Police budget for operational funds in the national budget for next financial year to ably support the work of community policing.
Also present were Minister of State for finance, David Bahati, Minister of State for economic monitoring, Henry Banyenzaki and district leaders.