“The police is in charge of elections. All other agencies are just assisting. I don’t like the sight of non-uniformed men and women shooting on the streets, but these are still officers if something is spontaneous” – AIGP Asan Kasingye on NBS Television (24.11.2020)
We should not be surprised. The Uganda Police Force has at the Central Investigation Division (CID) has the Electoral and Political Offences Department. They are clearly involved in monitoring the Political players of the Republic. That has been known for years and was perfected under the previous IGP Kale Kayihura.
The UPF isn’t slowing down this campaign season. No, they are turning up the volume and striking even harder ahead of the polls. So, when AIGP Kasingye says on TV that they are in-charge. It is either a moment of flexing or a Freudian slip. Meaning he either tries to boost the role the UPF has or he told the truth.
However, the Police is interfering in political activity to an extent that they monitor and ensure all gatherings. In such a manner, that they deem what is righteous or not. They allow or crack-down whatever they deem fit. They can charge someone with the Penal Codes without any legal proof and do it on the spot. As the investigation happens after the fact and the cases last forever.
AIGP Kasingye knows all this. What is weird is that the Electoral Commission should be in-charge of the election and set the guidelines. It shouldn’t the police, which is there to ensure safety for the citizens and safeguard them. The Police is not a party or a stakeholder in the elections. They are supposed to be non-partisan and not directly involved. Even though in the case here. They are indirectly setting a standard of blocking candidates, arresting activists and creating hardships for opposition candidates. That they do to such a degree that its obnoxious.
As well, as the usage of vile force on civilians, not only tear-gas, but live-bullets, which has taken over 50 people’s lives and over a 100 injured during the “Free Bobi Wine riots”. Therefore, the Police should answer to the extra-judicial killings. As they are only looking for civilians to arrest and not handle anyone of their own. Who became not only the officer, but also the judge and hangman on the spot on the streets of Kampala recently.
That Kasingye says this. It reflects what they are thinking and how they operate. This has been their modus operandi for years. Even if the Public Order Management Act (POMA) was wing-clipped in court. The UPF still uses this and these techniques to stop gatherings and assembly of political operatives. They are involved and doing this to shut down the operations of dissidents and opposition of the regime. It is so clear as day and it’s not a joke. It is so deliberate and conning. That their badge and their supposed service is mockery.
This isn’t policing… it is oppression and impunity. The law isn’t a guideline or the ones biding the Police. It is their orders and the command from “high above”. They are allowed to act like mob serving judgement to the ones who isn’t made. That is how it seems these days. There is no honour among these men in uniform. They have license to kill and can serve these orders with no condemnation or retribution. While the rioters and civilians on the streets got no one defending them. Since, the ones supposed to defend are the ones who actually carry arms and aims at them.
So, the ones who thought it would get better without Kayihura. Well, the next man is more of the same and less subtle about it too. IGP Okoth-Ochola doesn’t care and isn’t concerned. He operates and makes the Police Force work likes this. Because that serves the purpose from “on high”.
Now, we just have to wait and see when the Police Officers will count the ballots and announce the results in 2021. Since they are in-charge and the EC Commissioner can just cool his head and drink a brew. Because, the police will serve the verdict anyway. Peace.