Kampala Metropolitan Police commander Moses Kafeero has cautioned officers in the KMP Field Force Unit against use of tear gas and excessive force while handling public order management operations.
In a meeting he held with the Unit officers on Monday morning, Mr Kafeero asked officers to always act in accordance with the laws of Uganda, asking that whatever is done must never amount to degrading treatment or torture and shouldn’t affect people’s privacy or family life.
He advised that use of excessive force should be in exceptional circumstances where all other options have been tried and failed. He cited an example where if an officer failed to act, would lead to loss of their life or that of an innocent third party.
He cautioned that officers should always give clear warning before using tear gas.
This, he said, would allow people to vacate the area and hence minimize the impact on those complying, also ensuring a safe escape path that eventually will have protected the people’s constitutional rights.
Mr Kafeero’s advise comes on the backdrop of numerous complaints lodged against the police by members of the public who say the officers’ use of tear gas in almost every incident of public order management is excessive.
Many times the police has referred to the public order management Act recently passed by Parliament which permits the police to intervene and manage crowds.