Uganda People Defense Forcer soldiers and police personal in Gulu are being accused of extortion and harassing residents during night patrol.
Last month, the Gulu district security committee decided to tighten security following a spate of armed robberies in the town.As a result, UPDF officers were deployed to back up the police during night patrol.
However, weeks after the deployment, residents are accusing the soldiers and police of extortion and harassment.
Jimmy Orach, a boda boda motorist in Gulu town says that he was robbed of 46,000 shillings by policemen on patrol last week.He says despite the fact that he had all the requirements and his motorbike was in perfect condition, the officers forcefully grabbed his money.
Orach however says that he didn’t report a case because he is well aware that the suspects will not refund his money.
Orach is just one of the victims of the exploitation by the security officers.Patrick Jimmy Okema, the Aswa regional spokesperson says they have recorded various complaints from residents in the past two weeks about the joint patrol teams.
Okema says that they have recovered a mobile phone that was grabbed by a cop from a resident during patrol.
He says the cop will be arraigned before the security committee to face disciplinary action.Okema has asked all the other victims to come out and report their complaints to police or the Police Professional Standards Unit so that the implicated officers can be brought to book.
Catherine Lamwaka, the Gulu RDC says they will take disciplinary action against all the implicated officers.She cautions the officers against exploiting residents and encourages them to concentrate on protecting them and their property.
According to the police 11 suspects have been arrested, three guns and two motor bikes recovered within a space of two weeks.