OPINION: What if We Separated People’s Police from Government Police

By: Julius Peter Ochen

I have lately developed ‘required’ sense of ‘wisdom’ of keeping my opinion to myself unless it’s an issue to do with land and land reform policy.

I have successfully kept my opinion on issue of “reverse parking” now threatening to tear Green Hill Academy to pieces.  Until today, discount I thought I would do the same on Police and Police brutality, buy information pills a topic increasingly becoming boring yet un-ignorable.

As we interface with policemen (and policewomen; just to be politically correct) in our everyday activities, we certainly developed a confused sense of emotions towards them.

We go to sleep hating them because news put them on the bad side of the story, but by 10am the following day, we love them because we found them regulating traffics and helping school children cross roads.

But how do we save ourselves from our self-afflicted confused sagacity of emotions towards our police?

There is only one way; divide police into two. The People’s Police Force; PPF (sounds like tables but it’s okay) and The Government Police Force (GPF).

Whereas there is that section of Police force accused of abducting regime’s political opponents, kidnapping oppositions’ political mobilizers and dropping them as far as Pader without transport to return to Kampala, clobbering Besigye’s onlookers along the roads or running them over without caring about the weight of their land cruisers; that section of police accused of lending kifesi their guns in the nights, those accused of defeating justice in processes of investigations like in the case of a one Wamala, that section of police accused of shielding murder suspects within their ranks, and others for sectarian promotions and deployment within the force;


There are those good policemen who burn candles all night in their village police posts waiting to rescue somebody, those policemen standing at traffic junctions all day, some time on rain directing and regulating motorize, those good policemen waiting at the parking yards to give security to our cars, those good policemen helping children cross the roads to and from schools.

With separation, the government Police would be these other people (within the law) abducting, kidnapping, arresting, beating and hunting down whoever they perceived as harboring intention of ascending to power.

Those hunting down poachers at game parks, evicting forest encroachers and illegal fish mongers at the landing sites. They would be those Policemen carrying RPGs, LMGs, PKs, AGLs, B10, HPG9, driving tankers and APCs in the city without option of arrest.

They would be the men escorting Besigye to courts or whenever he intends to travel to town.

They would be those men who can cause your death even if you were just a defaulting car buyer without being arrested for it.

And the people’s Police would be the men and women recording statements of complainants and suspects at the stations, the policemen directing traffic and regulating highway speeds. Would be those policemen providing security at the banks, the night clubs, the shopping malls, parking yards and checking luggage at the airports and bus parks.

The policemen regulating crowds at funerals, parties, schools, stadiums and amusement parks. They would be those policemen you feel you can run to whenever you have legal problems.

We indeed cannot have the same police doing all these, without befuddling our likes and dislikes for them.

If we had that, we wouldn’t be having Gen. Kayihura and the six as suspected criminals in the court; something that has miffed the image of police force afar redemption.

The writer is a public policy analyst with interest in politics.
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