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IGP shakes up all traffic directors amid extortion claims

IGP Martins Okoth-Ochola on Monday, August 4 sanctioned the reshuffle of 23 traffic commanders countrywide following allegations of extortion against the officers (FILE PHOTO)

NAGURU – Inspector General of Police (IGP) Martins Okoth-Ochola on Monday reshuffled 23 traffic commanders countrywide in what is seen as a response to allegations of extortion against the officers, especially those in the Kampala Metropolitan Police (KMP) area.

Last week, Mr Ochola instructed Traffic Director, Dr Steven Kasiima, to investigate 113 police officers who had been accused by over 500 cyclists and taxi drivers at the Police’s Professional Standards Unit (PSU) over extortion.

However, the IGP has followed this up with the abrupt Monday afternoon reshuffles which were signed by Police Director for Human Resource Moses Balimwoyo.

The changes have seen KMP traffic operations commander Julius Luyima named officer-in-charge [OC] of traffic in Masindi District. Israel Wambesyo, who has been deputy to KMP traffic commander Norman Musinga, has been moved to Ssezibwa as Regional Traffic Officer. Grace Kiberu moves from Ssezibwa takes his place.

Ex-OC Traffic Kakira, Ruth Ngabire has been moved to Kasese following the reshuffle (FILE PHOTO)

Tom Mpabaisi has been transferred from CPS to Sipi as RTO, ASP Sam Mugabi from Kawempe to Albertine as RTO, ASP Dickson Odongo from Kira Division to Ntungamo as OC, ASP Elia Kamugisha from Old Kampala to Bugiri as OC, ASP Caroline Angeyo from Wandegeya to Mpigi as OC and ASP Reinhold Rwakarenzi from Kabalagala to Mubende.

Bruce Oinebye moves from Kasese to Kakiri as OC Traffic, while Ruth Ngabire moves from Kakira to Kasese. Savasio Mutungye moves from Kira Road to Kayunga, Justus Habyara from Rubirizi to Njeru as OC Traffic while Penninah Magamba heads to Kabalagala as OC Traffic from Mubende.

The changes come as traffic officers, especially those from Kampala Metropolitan districts of Kampala, Wakiso and Mukono, are under investigation over extortion. The cyclists accuse traffic officers of extorting from them money ranging from Shs50,000 and Shs150,000 whenever their motorcycles are impounded on traffic offences.

Police spokesperson Emilian Kayima on Tuesday confirmed during a press conference that some traffic officers are under investigation but did not state the number.

“AIGP Dr Steven Kasiima [director traffic] has halted the massive countrywide traffic operations because of very many complaints and there is a possibility that some officers have abused these operations,” he said.

“Motorcyclists say the operations have been abused and these officers do not listen to them when they try to explain. The director took a decision and has since started looking into these complaints. However, drivers and riders should not violate traffic rules thinking they won’t be arrested,” Mr Kayima added.

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