By Spy Uganda
Kampala: The Inspector-General of Police Martin Ochola has banned police officers from driving their personal cars and ordered for the arrest of all those who will be found driving them during the 42 days lockdown.
This follows Museveni’s announcement for total lockdown last Friday due to the increasing cases of Covid-19. Among the many orders, Museveni banned the use of public and private transport except for essential workers and utility providers.
According to sources, communication has been sent to police commanders and unit heads to ensure that their juniors including themselves do not drive their cars for purposes of uniformity in the implementation of the latest directives intended to control the spread of Covid-19.
Ochola has informed police personnel that even though they are essential, they must use the force’s vehicles to move from one place to another but not personal cars unless such officers have an emergency.
Police Spokesperson Fred Enanga however said security personnel under the intelligence units are allowed to move in private cars but they must have their IDs at all times. Police noted that in the previous lockdown, there was impunity of security personnel who used their vehicles to ferry their relatives.
Last year, Ochola issued orders banning police officers from using personal vehicles after he was notified that the very many vehicles that were on roads belonged to police officers, their relatives or other security personnel.
This was after many Ugandans took to social media wondering why some roads were having jam yet public and private cars had been banned from being used.
However, some of the police officers have expressed concern with the ban on using their cars. Police officers especially those in the senior category wondered how a single patrol vehicle attached to a police station would be used to transport them to and from their homes.
“Many of our police officers sleep in Nsambya or Naguru barracks. They are picked by the patrol vehicle to and from the station. The patrol vehicle is supposed to be at the station full-time to respond to an emergency. But if the patrol vehicle is used to drive me back or to pick me from my home, it leaves a gap at the station,” a senior police officer said.
Kampala Metropolitan has 18 divisions with each having over 200 personnel. The police officers who stay in Naguru and Nsambya barracks include Field Force Unit and Counter-terrorism officers.