By Alex Kalangi
The Police Flying Squad recovered 48 illegal guns and 524 rounds of ammunition in various operations around the country in 2017. According to police spokesperson Emilian Kayima, some of the recovered guns had Police and UPDF markings, though some have been traced to neighboring countries like the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The guns, which include SMG AK 47s, SKS’s, Pump-Actions, Uzi guns among others were traced by police officers in districts of Gulu, Kampala, Kiryandongo, Hoima, Bududa and Mbale. Others were recovered by cops in Mutukula, Kiira Road Police Station, Njeru, Kisoro, Kaliro (FSU Iganga), Mayuge (FSU Iganga), Kasese, Amuria, Lira, Kyotera (4), Lugazi, Butenga, Kyakatuma Police Post, Jinja and Kira division.
In 2017, according to the documents, Lira recorded the highest number of cases of unlawful possession of fire arms. The documents show 9 cases. Lira is followed by Gulu and Kyotera, with 4 and 5 cases respectively. Most of the guns were found with suspects who had committed offences like unlawful/illegal possession of fire arms, aggravated robbery, attempted robbery, murder, theft and neglect of duty, and in some instances, the weapons would be found abandoned and dag out in places they had been buried.
Most of these fire arms were recovered from civilians, and this is not surprising, given reports that appeared in media last year of civilians attacking police officers and fleeing with guns. The documents only show one case where an army officer, a one Sgt. Emmanuel Okiriror was arrested alongside civilians, Isma Mukasa and Francis George Okullo for attempted robbery, where they used a Jericho Pistol and 14 ammunitions on May 26, 2017.
The individuals shown are Solomon Nyeko, who was sentenced to three years in prison, when he was found with an AK 47 in Gulu, and Geoffrey Akuguzibwe and Simon Kisembo who were sentenced to 15 months in prison on March 25 in Kiryandongo for unlawful possession of 48 rounds of ammunition. According to the documents approved by ACP Herbert Muhangi, 30 submachine gun (SMG) AK-47s 30 were recovered with 413 ammunitions plus 6 SARs (Singapore Assault Rifle) were recovered with 9 ammunitions; 6 Uzi guns were found with 46 ammunitions; 1SKS (Samozaryadny Karabin sistemy Simonova) with 25 ammunitions; 2 Pump-Action short guns with 1 ammunition; 3 RPG (Rocket-propelled grenade) fuses with 3 ammunitions; 3 galil ammunitions and I MAS guns were also recovered.