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Equipment failure slowing gun fingerprinting exercise

FILE PHOTO: Gun registration and fingerprinting exercise

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The ongoing gun fingerprinting exercise has been slowed down by the breakdown of the equipment and inexperienced personnel. The exercise conducted by the Police and sister security agencies came after a series of high profile murders that shocked the country in recent years.

In the aftermath, President Yoweri Museveni ordered that all guns in Uganda be fingerprinted in order to help security agencies track guns that are used to kill based on their cartridges. This was part of a nine-point security master plan to contain the increase in gun violence.

The registration and fingerprinting exercise started in Kampala where more than 78,000 guns were registered. These registered guns in Kampala included those owned by the Uganda Police, Prisons service, Private security firms and individuals.

But Assistant Inspector General of Police Edward Ochom says that the process is slow. He points out the fabricated heavy metal water tanks which have been breaking down as they swell, leak or weaken due to constant firing of bullets.

Uganda Radio Network has learnt that police procured three tanks for this purpose. One is currently stationed in Kampala while two will be used in the rest of the country. However, Ochom notes that the teams become inefficient whenever one of the units breaks down.

But Ochom is optimistic that as the process continues officers handling the process are gaining competence. He made the remarks during a side interview at Katonga Regional Police headquarters where the two-day gun printing exercise covering districts of Mpigi, Butambala and Gomba is taking place.

Meanwhile, from the Katonga Region, it has been discovered that a number of police officers are holding faulty guns.

After Katonga Region the team is expected to proceed to Greater Masaka Sub Region. Ochom says that they intend to finish all regions by July and embark on military instalments which include the Uganda People’s Defense Forces, Internal Security Organization, External Security Organization and Uganda Wildlife Authority.



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