By Ronald Nahabwe
Kampala: Shock engulfed residents of Kajjansi over the weekend after one of their own identified as David Oketch, a dealer in produce along Entebbe Road, got shot dead in a joint security operation carried out by UPDF and police.
According to eyewitnesses, Oketch was gunned down when a group of Police and UPDF soldiers tried to stop him for a checkup but he refused and insisted on moving on, sparking off a scuffle. “They tried to stop him but he resisted because we suspected he had money for Easter which he never wanted these security men to take,” An eyewitness who preferred anonymity said. The Eyewitness added that when Oketch tried to hide his money and run away he was shot dead by the security personnel on grounds that he could have been possessing deadly weapons. When we contacted Kampala Metropolitan Police spokesperson Patrick Onyango over the matter, he remained hesitant to comment, but said he heard of it and was trying to get details. “I’m not yet briefed about that incident but the moment I get all the details, I will let you know,” he said. As we were starting the Easter holiday, Police spokesperson Fred Enanga cautioned all Ugandans to be alert and cautious about their security during the celebrations. He tried to inform the public and in particular revelers, that criminal elements take advantage of such festive seasons to intensify their illegal acts.
As part of renewed focus on fighting crimes, the police have come up with a robust security arrangement for the country to ensure security and peaceful celebrations prevail. The IGP Ochola Martin instructed all territorial commanders to put up visible, robust and focused security deployments for regulating, movement of traffic on highways and roads, enhancing proactive policing arrangements and our faster response to incidents. Enanga stressed that although there’s absolutely no specific threat directed towards our country, they have heightened the level of alertness and put security measures that include; active vigilance and access controls, in all vulnerable places like; bus and taxi parks, worship centers, all places of entertainment, social gathering points, shopping arcades, fuel stations and depots, as well as all government and security installations. He said alert and security audit teams are as a matter of routine, conducting regular security audits, at all possible target areas, to ensure our security measures are guaranteed. We have intensified patrols, targeting black spots and added extra protection to all venues during this festive season, to ensure all revelers and the public at large remain safe. “We have also installed 1940 CCTV cameras within the Kampala metropolitan areas, under the CCTV project, which we are using to proactively capture, share evidence and intelligence on offenders. It has made the neighborhood in the city stronger and safer.” he said. He added that “All road users are further reminded that road safety is the responsibility of every one.” “To the marine users, we want to inform them of the initiative by our Police Marine Unit, for all of them to be cautious of their safety, while on the waters .All transporters must ensure their boats are inspected, and the owners knowledgeable about the compliance and safety requirements. The Marine Unit will be on standby for any search and rescue operations.” He concluded that “We also call upon the Professional Standard Unit, to up their efforts, in dealing with those few individual officers with corrupt tendencies, and continue to solicit bribes, thus tarnishing the image of the force. These few should be trapped, apprehended and charged to court, to help rid the force of officers with integrity concern.”