Minister In Charge of Presidency and KCCA Hon Wilson Muruli Mukasa has defended the services of the Kampala Capital City Authority’s Law Enforcement Team, and decried manner in some of them are being mistreated by members of the public.
Contrary to several reports that the enforcement team has tended to be highhanded in its operations, Hon Mukasa told Parliament that the law enforcers have endeavored to do their work prudently.
The force which was created in November last year to aid in law enforcement in the city, has now grown to 334 members.
Among other duties, the team is deployed to arrest city litterers, illegal vendors, bad drivers and trespassers, demolish illegal buildings and discontinue illegal developments.
These however have often come under fire for using unreasonable force in conducting their duties.
Taxi drivers, vendors and other victims of their duties have severally accused the force of manhandling and extorting money from them.
While updating parliament in a Ministerial Policy Statement, Minister Muruli said that often times the law enforcers are equally victimized by members of the public.
He noted that enforcers also complain of a harsh working environment; “Even where it’s not necessary, the public wants to mobilize against them, which compels them to use reasonable force in some circumstances.”
He added, “Several of the officers have been targets of brutality from errant members of the public especially hawkers, vendors and taxi operators, and a number of them have been seriously injured.”
On allegations of brutal arrests and extortion of money, Minister Mukasa said the Authority had in the past year caused termination of some of the implicated officers’ contracts.
About 40 of these, he said were kicked out of the force, mostly because of their failure to adhere to the core values of the institution of KCCA.
The squad he adds is undergoing regular training especially in community policing with the help of the Uganda Police Force and is now managed by a senior police officer.
“We do recognize that there may be some bad elements within the institution, but KCCA doesn’t take discipline lightly and shall continue to enforce law and order in public space and also internally among its staff,” he added.