National Crime Preventers Forum (NCPF) Coordinator Blaise Kamugisha met President Yoweri Museveni at his upcountry home in Rwakitura, Kiruhura, ChimpReports can reveal.
According to Innocent Owino, a spokesperson for NCPF, Kamugisha has been holding discussions with President Museveni in the last four days.
Museveni has recently been in the western region for a number of activities, and on Monday he was in Kiruhura.
A picture obtained by ChimpReports shows Blaise Kamugisha standing beside Museveni in his jet, and they look to be in a jolly, casual mood.
The meeting comes amidst reports that the Crime Preventers forum could be disbanded following the exit of their patron Gen. Kale Kayihura.
Kayihura was sacked on March 4 by President Museveni and replaced by his deputy Okoth Ochola.
Since its founding in 2014, Kamugisha, who was then a law student at Makerekere Unviersity — has been the head of the National Crime Preventers Forum.
The forum was started following a spate of murders of female students that had rocked Makerere University.
Students were then picked and taken to Kabalye Training School to equip them with policing skills.
Consequently the project spread across the country, and currently NCPF, according to Kamugisha – has about 11 million individuals, who are distributed in over 1000 police stations.
They have a command Centre in Naguru, Kampala. (It’s separate from police headquarters, also in the same area.)
The existence of crime preventers in the country has been met with both negative and positive reactions.
At a certian level, they are credited for helping police in carrying out patrols and arresting criminals, especially in remote areas, where there is limited manpower.
But, again, because there are no set laws by police to align crime preventers, they have been seen as a dangerous paramilitary group by a large section of the public, including Internal Affairs minister, Gen Jeje Odongo, who observed that prevailing conditions cannot hold them accountable when they act contrary to police standing orders.
For instance, some of them have been accused of torture, theft and engaging in political mobilization.
Uncertianty as Kayihura exits
Following Kayihura’s exit, when asked what would happen to crime preventers since they are not recognized under the police force, Emilian Kayima, the police spokesman, who sounded unsure, said the current police bosses – IGP Okoth Ochola and his deputy, Brig. Sabiiti Muzeyi would call the shots.
“We have not dissolved the crime preventers and no one has issued any directive disbanding or banning their operation with police. But what I can say is that the new IGP and his deputy shall sit and make a decision on crime preventers’ future,” Mr Kayima said, according to Daily Monitor.
Meeting with Museveni
NCPF Spokesman Innocent Owino said the meeting with Museveni, whom he referred to as the “Father of crime preventers”, is a ray of light.
Pressed to give more details about the meeting, Owino said he would give us more details later, and only added: “the future is bright.”
Blaise Kamugisha was not readily available for comment.
According to Owino, he is still with Museveni.