lifestyleug.com__ochola drafted 17 operational guidelines
The Inspector General of Police (IGP), Martins Okoth Ochola. FILE PHOTO

In response to the order, IGP Ochola has drafted up to 17 new operational guidelines for all commanders and the LDUs.

In response to the President’s directive, the Inspector-General of Police, Martins Okoth Ochola, has issued a list of up to 17 new operational guidelines to be followed by police officers and personnel from sister agencies during field duties.

On September 08, President Museveni issued a statement directing the IGP to come up with procedures among others concerning the use of guns for the police more so the private security organizations that guard homes and property.

“The IGP should issue operational procedures, in a booklet form, to private security organizations for guarding homes and properties,” part of Museveni’s directive statement read in response to shooting incidents that had been registered during NRM primaries.

In response to the order, IGP Ochola has drafted up to 17 new operational guidelines for all commanders and the Local Defense Units (LDUs) to follow as they carry out their day to day duties.

In reference to an article published by the Uganda Radio Network (URN), police commanders have been directed to only apply the use of firearms in situations of self-defense and other circumstances where an order cannot be restored.

The article also reads that in situations that warranty the use of firearms, the IGP has ordered commanders to ensure they only fire aimed shots and be conscious of innocent bystanders.

Also, the commanders must ensure they avoid inflicting collateral damage and must stop firing as soon as the situation justifying the shooting normalizes.  

“Firearms must only be used in situations of self-defense and other circumstances where an order cannot be restored or a specific duty performed unless firearms are used. The situation must be hostile as to justify the use of firearms,” Ochola states in the new guidelines.

Ochola also directs that the force used must be proportionate to the attacking force. All policemen and women are restrained from responding to stone-throwers and those using abusive language with bullets.

“For example, if stones, bottles are being thrown at the police or abusive and provocative language, such would not justify the use of firearms. If force must be used, non-lethal weapons should be employed,” Ochola further states.

lifestyleuganda.com__ochola drafted 17 operational guidelines
The Inspector General of Police (IGP), Martins Okoth Ochola. FILE PHOTO

Meanwhile, this comes at a time when the police is still receiving criticism following the weekend event in which the security officers fired teargas to disperse Buganda Kingdom’s Mbogo Clan members who had convened at the clan’s ancestral ground, located at Mugulu in Ziggoti Town Council in a thanksgiving service for their clan head, Gajuule Kasibante.

The thanks giving mass was led by retired Masaka Diocese Bishop, John Baptist Kaggwa but midway through the proceedings, police manned the place and requested the masses to depart the premises because their gathering was illegal. 

However, in an interview with NBS TV on Thursday morning, the police spokesperson said that the police intended to disperse Hon Francis Zaake and his supporters who were holding political discussions.

Enanga in his interview said that the public is only focused on the picture but not determined to get facts right. He explained the tear gas was aimed at a group 500 meters away from the thanks giving venue but because it can spread up to a distance of one kilometer it circulated and now everyone’s focus is that it was aimed at the group.

‘’The picture that is being presented is that we used teargas at the venue of the Mityana clan meeting, a thanks giving ceremony but that is not true. The tear gas was outside something like 500 meters away, Enanga said.

‘’The tear gas came in as a last resort. There is an open field I think where Hon Francis Zaake and his supporters were holding a presser. Hon David Lwanga when we engaged him, he went but Hon Zaake started addressing the media and his supporters and his event was covered but it was something like 500 meters from this venue.’’