KAMPALA – The Assistant Inspector General of Police, Erasmus Twaruhukwa has denied knowledge of the use of vans commonly known as drones in the arrest and alleged kidnap of people.
Twaruhukwa said that the issue of drones first came up during the last general elections. He added that the police later learnt that they were new imports and were sighted heading to different bonds in Kampala or to washing bays.
“The Directorate of Traffic interested themselves in these cars and they were imported into the country to be used for both public and private transport,” he said adding that,” the traffic police has impounded vehicles that do not have proper registration’.
Twaruhukwa said this while appearing before the Committee on Human rights on the state of human rights violations in the country, on Wednesday, 09 March 2021.
There has been a public outcry on the use of drones by security operatives in the arrest of people in different parts of the country. Members of the public especially politicians have on several occasions questioned what they called arbitrary arrests of political opponents of the ruling National Resistance Movement government.
Twaruhukwa added that the police have also educated the public through the media about the procedure to be followed in cases of loss of number plates.
“Today, no motor vehicle can be driven on the road without proper registration,” he said.
The Director in Charge of Operations, Assistant Inspector General of Police, Edward Ochom said there is a need for a budget increment because in cases of torture, witnesses have to be facilitated.
“The reason why there are many pending cases or backlog is because we lack funds to facilitate the process. Some of the torture witnesses need finances to come to the station which the police does not have at the moment,” Ochom added.
Francis Mwijukye (FDC, Buhweju County) was not satisfied with the figures that were presented in the police report in regard to the number of cases reported at the police stations.
“Whereas the police in their report have reported only six cases, the Uganda Human Rights Commission presented more cases than that. Can the police explain the difference? Maybe the victims are scared to report the cases to police because they are the perpetrators,” he said.
In their report, the police leadership revealed that there are 200 cases which have been referred to the Inspector General of Police for compensation. They added that some of these cases are of officers who are referred under the workman’s compensation scheme for injuries incurred during duty.
“The total amount for compensation stands at shs8.3 billion of which shs588 million has been settled,” the report states in part.