Crime preventers are volunteers meant to guard and prevent crime and should not be involved in partisan politics, the Prime Minister, Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda has said.
Responding to a question by Hon. Reagan Okumu, during last week’s Prime Minister’s Time, Dr. Rugunda said, “They are not supposed to be playing partisan roles. If there are any errors committed, we shall follow them up and ensure that they are stopped.”
Hon. Okumu, a Parliamentary Commissioner, said Police crime preventers were campaigning for the ruling NRM and intimidating supporters of other parties.
He added that instead of crime prevention, they were causing crime and had become partisan.
Crime preventers, who are mostly youths, undergo training in community policing courses aimed at empowering them with self defense skills, ideological orientation, crime prevention and patriotism.
Similarly, while responding to a question by Mukono Municipality MP, Hon. Betty Nambooze, the Prime Minister said the role of the Police is to enforce the law without discrimination.
Hon. Nambooze said that Police was arresting supporters of Hon. Amama Mbabazi, who had declared his intention to run for President.
The Leader of the Opposition, Hon. Wafula Oguttu also claimed that Police was taking sides and “pushing people who do not agree with government hard on the wall.”
Quoting recent media reports, Hon. Wafula also said that Police in Soroti had been asked to register as members of the NRM.
Dr. Rugunda explained that, “The role of Police is to enforce the law irrespective of who may be affected. Police should carry out its duties and should not be discriminating against anybody but enforce the law.”
“All of us know that the Police, just like the UPDF and civil service serve all Ugandans (and cannot register to belong to political parties). Any departure from that is wrong and disciplinary measures should be taken,” said Dr. Rugunda adding that “We have to ensure that we continue building institutions that serve all people irrespective of political affiliations.”