“Okay The point I’m making is this: Soldiering and policing, they ain’t the same thing. And before we went and took the wrong turn and start up with these war games, the cop walked a beat, and he learned that post. And if there were things that happened on that post, where there be a rape, a robbery, or a shooting, he had people out there helping him, feeding him information. But every time I came to you, my DEU sergeant, for information, to find out what’s going on out on them streets… all that came back was some bullshit. You had your stats, your arrests, your seizures, but don’t none of that amount to shit when it comes to protecting the neighborhood, now do it? [sighs] You know, he worst thing about this, so-called drug war, to my mind…it just, it ruined this job” – Howard “Bunny” Colvin – The Wire Season 3:10 (2004).
What Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIGP) Sabiiti Muzeyi wrote and spelled out to the media in this weeks “Enhanced Security Plan to Curb Violent Crimes”. It was basically spelling out what policing is all about. Not strange it is like this, when the army is more involved, the leadership is patriotic, loyal cadres of the army and leaders from with the Police Force itself.
That is why these fellows could have been re-watching The Wire or any other Police TV-Series, which has been known for a while. Even Pacific Blue, Luther, NYPD Blue, Colombo and all the editions of Law & Order. All of these could say about the same thing.
What the DIGP did launch was more surveillance and investigation capacities, fingerprinting firearms, improving forensics department and more visible police officers in the traffic. This is all steps of ordinary policing. That is not re-inventing an art-form. Alas, this is not changing the ways of doing work.
That is why what they are wanting to do. Is to directly wire-tap gangs, follow-up on CCTV Cameras and investigations itself. So, that they can follow-up on suspects and find proper evidence to link possible criminals. This should be their works, follow leads and breadcrumbs, even have proper detectives, that detect things and solves cases. That shouldn’t so hard, but you cannot anticipate soldiers and the army men to get this. They are securing a territory, they are in the line-of-fire, they are not getting affidavits, finding the motives and the evidence. The Army will use force to keep safety, they will guard a perimeter and secure a venue. They will not find a person with a guilty conscience and ID a suspect with fingerprints and so-on. This they could have learned from watching TV.
Therefore, this sort of enhanced plan to crack down on gangs isn’t that substantial. It shows more the lack of finesse, the lack of protocol and the lack of work ethic within the force. They are just soldiers on the beat and not doing policing. That is why they are not able to stop the gangs from existing. This is how it seems.
This report and PR hasn’t shown strength or ability to restructure. Instead, it has shown weakness and that they have been focused on other work. The Police is known for monitoring opposition leaders, their gatherings and such, but not handling actual criminals. This is maybe why it has to learn basic policing. Which is a sad sight.
Maybe, the UPF should hold seminars, hold course and even have bonus evenings in the police stations with talking points and questions after watching the Wire or anyone else. To see, if there are anything they could learn to do their actual job. Peace.
“I have given 2 days to Commander Sabiiti of the Police to come out with a plan to combat these gangs. The IGP is away in Peru for a meeting. I will look at that plan, comment on it and it will, then, be communicated to all of you. It is easy to defeat these gangs. Their crimes will only add to the credit of the NRM because we are going to defeat them. Yet, the People have already seen the bankruptcy and the criminality of these groups and those who back them” (Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, 15.10.2019).
Well, Deputy IGP Steven Sabiiti Muzeyi has really only about 24 hours to finish the plan to challenge gangs as a Police Officer, a high ranking security official and a former Major General in the army. This on orders and by commands put on Social Media yesterday by President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni. Who should have just sent him the package of already well-written ideas from last year. Unless, these are already fixed.
Because on the 20th June 2018, the President dropped his 9 Point Plan to end insecurity. Which was an extensive plan, but you can bug now 1 ½ year later if the Uganda Police Force and the other agencies did comply to this. Even if the magical plan of last year was implemented and put into action.
Like are the police able to collect fingerprints and ID guns? Are the police able to find out by register of boda-boda’s? How is it going with those specialized helmets for boda-boda drivers? Haven’t the CCTV’s done anything, now that they are actually up and going? How is it going with the building of that forensic laboratory? What is going on wit the Flying Squad? Are the any regulation of drones? How is it going with the thieves den on WhatsApp and on Social Media, any signals of catching up on that? Finally, have the Police and Customs acquired any scanners to secure transit of cargo?
This is brief and quick asking of the 9 Point Programme, as the DIGP Sabiiti only has one more day left. But if felt I left out the breadcrumbs of the DIGP to follow, as he stated earlier in his text: “However, for today, I will only comment on the pigs that are attacking People with pangas and mitayimbwa (steel- bars) and robbing them” (Museveni, 15.10.2019). Not that he has to register or look for lost pigs. No, that he has to register pangas, get people to them illuminated numbers in a registry and also combat illegal imports of steal bars. Maybe even, secure previous 9 point plan and actually enforce it.
Who knows, maybe the bans of hoods wasn’t an bad idea, since the Police Force neither has capacity or resources to follow up on previous orders above high. DIGP Sabiiti won’t say that, because than he might be forced to resign or get assigned to a foot-post in Kotido district or something.
If the President was serious he would have given him more time. As he himself hasn’t finished any of his previously made plans, starting all the way back to the 10-Point Programme, before the Vision 2020 or 2040, even the National Development Plan I and II. Therefore, the man should be a bit more patient with his technocrat or civil servant. However, don’t anticipate that. But just like the 9 Pointer of last year.
The additions made by the DIGP will be put in a stacks of paper and forgotten. That is just the way it is, because the funds are only for monitoring opposition and not fight actual crime. Peace.
President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni have ordered the Police Force to stop arresting people for being “idle and disorderly” and also release them. Especially, the ones taken in by the Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) enforcement. The President want their prosecution discontinued and also stop arresting illegal traders there.
This is clearly a mission from the President who orders this, but if the Republic is supposed to be a land of law and order. Than, the President should get some of his minions to repeal one of his colonial laws, which he has kept and used when in need. Now, his saying the Police Force should stop using it. I will first show, the Penal Code part, which is used and a little history behind why its there today.
The Penal Code Section 167. says:
“Idle and disorderly persons.
Any person who—
(a) being a prostitute, behaves in a disorderly or indecent manner in any public place;
(b) wanders or places himself or herself in any public place to beg or gather alms, or causes or procures or encourages any child to do so;
(c) plays at any game of chance for money or money’s worth in any public place;
(d) publicly conducts himself or herself in a manner likely to cause a breach of the peace;
(e) without lawful excuse, publicly does any indecent act;
(f) in any public place solicits or loiters for immoral purposes;
(g) wanders about and endeavours by the exposure of wounds or deformation to obtain or gather alms” (Penal Code Act of 1950).
Short history of the Penal Code:
“As such the Africa Order in Council, 1889 was applied to it. Under this Order in Council, statutes of general application in Britain at the time applied to Uganda. One of these was the ‘Idle and disorderly’ Act, 1824. In 1902, the Uganda Order in Council gave powers to the Governor to make laws that apply to the protectorate. The governor passed the Applied Indian Acts Ordinance in 1907, which made the law applicable to India at the time applicable to Uganda. Thus Uganda started using the Indian Penal Code, 1860 until 1930 when the Uganda Penal Code Ordinance was introduced. The Indian Penal Code did not criminalise idle and disorderly conduct or being rogue and vagabond. Similarly, the 1930 Penal Code Ordinance did not criminalise being ‘idle and disorderly’. The criminalisation of both ‘idle and disorderly’ and ‘rogue and vagabond’ was introduced under the 1950 Penal Code, which is still the Penal Code Act in force today, now designated as the Penal Code Act, Chapter 120 of the Laws of Uganda, 2000” (HRAF – ‘ THE IMPLICATIONS OF THE ENFORCEMENT OF‘IDLE AND DISORDERLY’ LAWS ON THE HUMAN RIGHTS OF MARGINALISED GROUPS IN UGANDAP: 23, 2016).
So, now, the President is now suspending the arrests of the idle traders and other people taken by the section of society, which the KCCA and Police Force deems them as “idle and disorderly”. This is part of the Penal Code, which has been historically used by the state to restrictive laws of society control. However, the state has kept it, because its a useful tool by the state.
Now, the President suspend it and stops the Police from using it. However, the law is still enforced, unless the National Resistance Movement or some MPs are amending it or repealing this law. Therefore, the act of the President today with ordering the UPF to suspend doing it. Can only be seen as a temporary suspension or even a PR stunt. Because, the law is still enforced. The law is still active.
This means, the state can still use the law, even if the President has sent a circular and order from above. The law is still there and looking at the public. The Colonial heritage is still there and the usage of it is still common practice. Just wait to the campaign season and general election in 2021, the state will use the Penal Codes like no tomorrow. Peace.