Crime preventers will soon know their fate after President Museveni directed the Deputy Inspector General of Police, Brig Sabiiti Muzeyi, to investigate their relevance to keeping law and order with a view to disbanding the group.
The President’s directive comes a week after he met the National Crime Preventers Forum (NCPF) Coordinator, Blaise Kamugisha, at his upcountry home in Rwakitura, Kiruhura District.
Sources privy to the matter intimated to PML Daily that Brig Sabiiti has been tasked to investigate allegations that the crime preventers have been involved in perpetrating crime through torture of suspects and extortion.
When contacted on Monday, Police spokesperson Emilian Kayima could not confirm the directive but promised to get back to us after getting details.
However, sources inside State House said the President wants the new deputy IGP to also investigate allegations that crime preventers, during the tenure of Gen Kale Kayihura, had taken over several contracts requiring provision of food stuffs to police at the expense of competent service providers.
On February 28, contracted companies and individuals announced that they were withdrawing food supply to police with immediate effect over non-payment of Shs33 billion. The suppliers also said the police leadership has not been given priority and instead budgets for crime preventers.
“Why is it only us who are not being paid. Why does he pay the crime preventers and neglect us?” Mr Kisitu said.
And now it has emerged that this lead will be investigated by Brig Muzeyi.
He is also expected to investigate allegations that the crime preventers misused motorcycles procured for them by Gen Kayihura, with some of them allegedly selling them. The bikes were bought for crime preventers around the country to carry out election intelligence ahead of the 2016 general election.
“These are allegations Mzee [Museveni] has been hearing and Sabiiti’s job will be to establish the extent to which these are true or are they mere allegations meant to demonize the NCPF,” a source said.
Police has in the last five years trained thousands of crime preventers in military and self-defence skills, among others. They have been widely criticised by the public as a militia group to be used as a tool of the ruling NRM party to harass the Opposition and the general population. Crime preventers have been accused of being partisan in favour of the National Resistance Movement.