On Monday, a group of students from Makerere and other universities in Uganda under their charitable organisation “Makutano” have launched an ambitious fundraising drive geared at raising Shs 11,343,000, an equivalent of $4000, to facilitate the renovation of the police station located next to the Students’ Guild offices.
Makutano hopes to raise this money before the first week of September when the renovations are slated to commence.
The figure includes the cost of re-painting the police station, doing plumbing works, and constructing a new toilet for the officers and their families as the old one is in an appalling condition, despite the fact that the innocent little children of the officers use the same toilet facilities which greatly puts their lives and health at an much heightened risk.
“For the part of social media, we are going to conduct this campaign under the hash tag #PoliceIsNotMyEnemy,” Saasi Marvin who is leading the team told Insider.
He said the #tag is not meant to cast Ugandan Policemen as angels, but is merely intended to send out a message to the gallant officers that regardless of the many evils society has criticized them for.
“We do not see them as our enemies. Our eyes are not closed to the good that they do, the cold nights and blistering-hot days they brave just to keep us and our property safe.”
He added: “We may criticize you, Police officers, but we remain grateful for the good work that you do, and we shudder to even imagine life without the Police.”
According to Marvin, the fundraiser is part of a wider project aimed at fostering good relations between the public and the police, especially in these troubled times.
He hopes the project can contribute to a united, peaceful and better Uganda where human rights and basic human dignity of the citizens are upheld and respected by Police, whether during demonstrations, arrests or while in police custody, among other scenarios, so as to create a conducive environment for communal and national development.
“We also hope that it will greatly improve the relations between the public and the Police.”
“With this charm offensive, we hope and are willing to believe that evils like police brutality, among others, can and will become a fleeting memory.”