The Uganda Police Force has said that it will not hesitate to arrest any private body guards belonging to different politicians if they misuse their mandate during this electoral period.
According to Police, it has been noticed that some politicians are using their body guards commonly known as “Kanyamas” to defy the Electoral Commission and Ministry of Health guidelines set to be followed during campaigns.
“These guidelines are things which are possible if we conduct ourselves in a responsible manner. So those political actors and groups which are still defiant and mobilizing boda boda riders and militias including ‘Kanyamas’ into holding illegal processions and rallies, we shall definitely arrest them in accordance to the law,” said Police spokesperson Fred Enanga.
Enanga also revealed that they have continuously received complaints from some candidates that their posters continue to get pulled down by some people.
However, he attributed this to violations of the guidelines that were put forward in regards to how and where the posters should be pinned.
“When you move around, you find that there are posters that continue to be placed even on traffic lights, road signs, Police CCTV cameras and on private premises. If the owner of a private premise comes and starts pulling down posters from their wall, there is no offence because if you want to put posters on a private facility, you need to obtain consent,” Enanga explained.
The law enforcement body also stated that they are closely monitoring some candidates who are reported to be using inciteful language during rallies which at some point promotes hatred within the members of the community.
“As the joint security task force, we know that rallies are the life blood of political campaigns and the easiest way candidates are able to get their messages to the electorate but this should not be abused through inciting and defaming others,” Police said.
In this regard, police said, they are also closely working with UCC to monitor the spread of falsehoods, conspiracy theories and hate speech among voters and the public especially in the mainstream media and online.