President Yoweri Museveni has directed the Inspector General of Police Martin Okoth Ochola to immediately embark on the publication of a manual providing guidance to armed offices on proper use of fire arms.
Museveni said this manual in booklet form should be out by next month on October 15th.
This manual he said, must entail all the steps that an officer must observe before discharging his fire arm in public.
The directive comes in the wake of violence that marred the NRM primary elections recently in which at least 6 people were killed, most by security officers.
“I am writing to direct you to stop the random shootings by the LDUs and Police, all under the command of the Police,” the president ordered the IGP.
Museveni went on to site a number of examples during the NRM primaries in which officers unnecessarily opened fire and killed unarmed civilians.
“There was shooting dead of one person in Katakwi, one person in Bugiri, two people in Isingiro etc. Analysis of these shootings show that many, if not all, of the shootings were unnecessary,” he noted.
“In Katakwi, civilians were fighting among themselves during the elections. Why shoot them? Why not scare them by shooting in the air or simply arresting them?”
“It is said that in Bugiri, some members of the Public, stoned the armed personnel. That was bad. However, shooting to kill, should not have been the first option. They should have identified the stone thrower and arrested him for prosecution.”
President Museveni further noted that the Public Order Management law sets out the conditions to be followed by an armed officer as follows.
Mores so the Standing Orders of riot control requires an officer to first engage Diplomacy – telling them to disperse; Proclamation by using hand-held micro-phones to warn them to disperse; and Informing them of his intention to use forceful means.
The officer is also required to use non-lethal means like teargas, shields, or live bullets in the air.
As such President Museveni said the Police leadership should put out a manual spelling out these procedures.
“Nobody should be allowed to carry a gun anywhere in Uganda on behalf of the State and engage in dealing with the Public, that is not aware of these procedures,” he said.
“Each Police Post, must have a copy of these procedures and all the Police personnel and LDUs, attached to policing areas, individually, must be conversant, to the last letter, of those procedures. UPDF Units, in case they need to support the Police, must first be educated about these procedures. Nobody should ever be deployed to deal with the Public if he/she is not first sensitized about these procedures.”