Following yet another direct attack by President Museveni on corruption within the traffic police, the head of the Directorate of the Traffic Police, Dr Stephen Kasiima has issued a set of guidelines to be followed by traffic officers.
The guidelines, which came out Thursday, just three days after Museveni’s scathing comments, include removal of most of the traffic check points on the country’s major highways.
President Museveni, while delivering national address on the fight against corruption, singled out the traffic police which is said to be one of the most bribed government departments.
While they dress in white and look like saints, Museveni noted concernedly that traffic officers are among the most corrupt civil servants.
This was not the first time the President attacked the traffic police department.
In 2014 during the cerebrations to mark 100 years of the Police in Uganda, Museveni referred to the traffic police officers as children of Satan.
Taking instant action, Dr Kasiima issued a set of guidelines to all Regional Traffic Officers, all OCs Traffic and the Traffic Commander KMP, among others terminating several Operation Fika Salaama check points and traffic stations on the various main roads.
He also demanded a list of traffic officers that have already been implicated in corruption.
The traffic boss banned all check points on the Kampala-Hoima Road.
Check points, he said, will only be allowed at Matugga – Corner Kamdini on the Kampala – Gulu route, from Mityana to Buloba, From Kampala to Iganga on the Eastern route, and from Kampala to Kikoni on the western route.
“No check point is expected beyond Kinoni (in Lwengo district) on this route,” Kasiima emphasized.
He added, “The maintained check points are to operate strictly during day time, that is, 0600hrs to 2000hrs.”
Dr Kasiima’s decision to terminate several traffic police check point operations, some off whole major roads, flies in the face of a common argument during road accident news cycles, that reckless driving is attributable to insufficient traffic police officers along the road.
We put this question to Dr Kasiima during a phone interview earlier today.
“We are only trying to have (traffic) officers do normal traffic operations,” he responded.
“You don’t need to be on a fixed check point; because these check points, motorists come and see them and reduce speed, then immediately they leave them, they commit offences.”
The Traffic Police commander says under the new regulations, traffic officers will be much more mobile.
“We have motorcycles, patrol vehicles, and we also have some of the officers on foot.”
The check points he removed, Kasiima said, were “in areas where we don’t normally get accidents”
Meanwhile in other measures, Kasiima directed the head of police traffic in the Kampala Metropolitan area to immediately remove a number traffic stations that are not directly involved in traffic jams.
“These are, Kasubi, Abayitababiri and Entebbe. They must be in offices waiting for emergencies or when they are conducting traffic operations,” he said.
Kasiima also ordered all Traffic Commanders at the district and regional levels to “immediately compile names of traffic officers who are not up to the task, untrainable and who have been involved in acts of extortion, are drunkards etc., and must give details why such names have been submitted.”
These names he said are being compiled at the police headquarters for further action.