By Jeff Andrew Lule
Motorists found bribing police officers risk getting locked up in jail, the Uganda Police Force has said.
This follows an incident in which five police officers were caught on police CCTV cameras near the Riham factory along Bombo road, in Kawempe, receiving a bribe from one of the motorists.
The officers including; Police Constables Pele Boni (driver), Samuel Abedi Kwel, Kevin Bwire, Ivan Kirya, and Special Police Constable (SPC) Abraham Enatu now wait to face the police disciplinary court.
Another officer identified as Corporal Mugume David who is supposed to be the car commander of the patrol car the officers were using, was also arrested for absconding from duty.
The police spokesperson, Fred Enanga, said the officers might be cautioned or dismissed depending on what the court will decide.
“The six are being charged for irregular conduct,” he noted.
However, Enanga said the officers are not going down alone, stressing that even the motorists of vehicles under registration numbers are wanted by the Police’s Professional Standards Unit (PSU) and Kawempe police to answer for their crimes.
He stressed that police are now hunting for the motorists who were captured on camera driving motor vehicles under Reg no.UAR 740 (Fuso Box body), UBE 784N (pick up), UBE 431B (Fuso), UAF 322C (Canter), UBF 161X (Toyota Hiace-Drone) UBJ 114A (Toyota Hiace), and UBD 974E (TATA).
“These also committed a crime and are part of the problem that we are trying to fight,” he added.
Enanga stressed that police continue to concert efforts to get the public together to stop such kind of indiscipline.
“We continue to remind our officers to ensure that they exhibit high standards of professionalism while on the roads and also caution the public. This business of pleading with officers to discontinue processes of law or due process of law is wrong,” he added.
He stressed that the CCTV footage forms part of the evidence and has already been submitted to PSU.
The officers were found with a note of sh50, 000, and other small notes of sh5000, sh2000, and sh1000.
Enanga said any motorists caught giving will be equally held accountable for bribing an officer on duty, and will be taken to court.
The Traffic Police spokesperson, Faridah Nampiima cautioned all motorists to move with their relevant documents. “If you do not have a driving license don’t drive, if you are drunk don’t drive, if you have no third-party insurance don’t drive, and drive within the recommended speed. Otherwise, we shall arrest you and take you to court,” she added.
Last week the Police Chief, Martins Okoth Ochola set up a team led by the Director of Operations, Edward Ochom, to conduct a thorough investigation into allegations of extortion, bribery, and abuse of office, made by the community in Oyam, against police officers in Oyam district.
“The task team will establish if the allegations that officers in Oyam district, charge sh5000/= for a medical form that is free of charge, and between sh30000 to 100,000/= for one to file a complaint or to effect an arrest, are true or not. They will further establish whether there are any other significant failings, in respect of the standing orders and protocols, fraud by abuse of position and corrupt practices,” he added.