The Inspector General of Police, Gen Kale Kayihura has warned police officers against participating in land evictions without crosschecking with the police legal directorate.
“Do not act as enforcement officers for court bailiffs. When you receive an eviction order, cross check first with the legal directorate and land protection unit,” directed Gen Kaihura who on Sunday officiated the pass out of 294 officers who completed a month’s basic security management training course at Kigo in Wakiso district.
Citing the unsuccessful attempt to evict Desh Kananura from Panamera bar last week, Kaihura said there was no need for the police officers to fire tear gas and bullets.
Security minister Lt Gen Henry Tumukunde had intervened and ordered Jinja Road DPC Michael Musani to stop firing live ammunition and tear gas or face consequences of insurbordination.
“How can you cause such chaos in town? Why are you firing bullets in town? Now these are my instructions, stop it and go away. We shall handle this,” a visibly irritated Tumukunde ordered police off the scene before driving away.
Gen Kaihura has consequently issued a stun warning to police commanders not to be part of the evictions but ensure law and order.
Kaihura also advised police to use batons shields instead of tear gas and bullets.
Police has for long faced criticism throughout the country for participating in illegal evictions following fake court orders.
In July this year, a witness appearing before the Bamugemereire commission of inquiry into land matters named senior police commanders including the late Police Spokesperson AIGP Andrew Felix Kaweesi in the fraudulent eviction and demolition of a government building in Jinja in 2014 by businessman Simpson Birungi of Birus properties.
Twinomujuni Julius, the former commandant of the police Land Protection Unit told the commission that he had warned the late AIGP Kaweesi about the fake court order by Birus properties but he (Kaweesi) did not heed the advice. Twinomujuni attracted criticism from Ugandans who questioned why he named a slain person instead of taking responsibility.
Early this month, one person was shot dead while two others sustained severe injuries in Lwemiyaga, Sembabule District as police enforced an eviction order which prompted angry locals to attack police with spears and machetes.