Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Criminal Investigations commanders have called for refresher courses for police officers under Field Force Unit (FFUs).
In the resolutions signed by over 348 CID commanders during a five-day retreat and presented by Policy Advisory Committee (PAC) Secretary Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), Richard Lutalo, senior detectives blame FFUs commanders for conducting operations without their involvement.
Drawn from specialized units like Flying Squad Unit (FSU), Special Investigations Division (SID), Crime Intelligence (CI), Regional, District and Divisional CIDs, senior investigators said it was inappropriate to task them to handle situations of FFUs’ operations that have gone wrong.
FFU officers are always at the fore front to quash real or perceived protests. They dress in blue camouflage uniforms.
While on duty, FFUs are armed with shields, helmets, batons, teargas canisters, Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs) and guns.
FFUs have severally been accused of being brutal during their operations were by they use excessive force even while responding to a moderate crowd.
On April 22, FFUs officers were captured on camera smashing car windows of Kyadondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine at Busabala Road. Bobi Wine had organised a music concert at his One Love Beach in Makindye Ssabagabo Municipality in Wakiso District.
In 2017, Police Disciplinary Tribunal chaired by SCP Dennis Odongpiny, tried and convicted then Kampala Metropolitan FFU commander, SSP Samuel Bamuzibire and KMP South FFU commander ASP Patrick Muhumuza for clobbering supporters of Dr Kizza Besigye.
Through SSP Lutalo, CID commanders said subjecting FFU officers to refresher courses could perhaps change their actions during operations.
Ranging from the rank of Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) and Senior Commissioner of Police (SCP), CID bosses emphasized that they are no longer going to do post-mortems of FFUs’ aftermath actions yet they are not even involved in the planning process.
Detectives demand that FFUs should involve them before and during operations as opposed to considering them after operations have turned ugly. Many of FFU personnel are policemen and women who joined Uganda Police Force (UPF) for more than 15 years ago with minimal or no formal education.
FFU is estimated to be having 15000 policemen and women. They are part of officers whose living conditions have often been described as miserable by the media and several others have been evicted from police barracks for failing to move to new workstation when transferred.