KAMPALA – On April 4, 2020, the Chief of Defence Forces (CDF) Gen David Muhoozi issued orders to the 1st Division Commander, Maj Gen Samuel Kawaga and the Commander Military Police Brig Gen William Bainomugisha to deploy motorized military police to ensure the good conduct forces implementing the presidential directives on COVID-19.
The CDF directed that on spot interventions to deter and extract for punishment those found in breach of the rules of engagement is done on a daily basis.
The directives came as a result of various social media footage and photographs that showed some Local Defence Forces, UPF and UPDF whipping civilians.
The torture incidents raised an uproar from members of the public catching the attention of the President and the Army leadership prompting drastic measures against all forces enforcing compliance.
As a deterrent measure, UPDF has deployed Military police night patrols against members of the security who go against the set Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).
In this case, motorized military police is conducting on spot checks on the forces throughout the night to ensure forces operate with discipline without violating the rights of the general public.
Last night Monday 6th April 2020 a convoy of military police and police patrol vehicles was seen conducting snap checks on different sections of patrolling forces in areas of Wandegeya, Makerere, Mulago, Kalerwe, Bwaise, Kawempe and Kagoma. Also snap checks were conducted in Kabalagala, Bunga, Ggaba and Kibuye.
Asked as to why such was done onto the sister forces implementing the directives of the commander in Chief, Capt Hagai Bwambale who was the overall commander of the motorized military police force said that Military police was in the operation to ensure discipline and ensure rules of engagement are fully adhered to.
The DPC Kabalagala police station ASP Kamugira David who later joined military police in the late night operations said that he appreciates the coming on board of military police with whom they have always worked together to improve the image of the field force.
In another incident, the DPC Wandegeya ASP Odongo Sam was met by the same force enforcing the night Curfew in areas of Wandegeya and Kalerwe with arrested Curfew violators who were begging for pardon. The group was taken to different police stations for further management. ASP Odongo praised the work of the sister forces for joining him in ensuring that the subordinates work within the rules of engagement to ensure that wainainchi are not tortured but ensure they comply with the directives.
The Deputy Defence spokesperson Lt Col Deo Akiiki who had led the Defence media team to check on the enforcement of force discipline by military police, called on all the enforcing forces to remain disciplined so as not to spoil the otherwise good job the forces are doing for the country.”Our hard earned good relationship with wainainchi must remain intact as we implement this noble task, no short cut,” Lt Col Deo Akiiki emphasized.
He added that, military police is implementing the assignment given by the Chief of Defence forces Gen David Muhoozi to ensure that discipline of forces is maintained so as to keep the good image of the force, but also ensure that the public complies with minimal incidents of antagonisms. He called upon the citizens to plan getting home early to avoid being arrested for failure to comply. Many civilians were arrested violating the curfew.