The Inspector General of Police Gen. Kale Kayihura has appealed to Ugandans to stop denigrating the image of the police, saying the positives far outweigh any negatives as the force sacrifices a lot in its duty to protect lives and property.
He was speaking Saturday at the late Erinayo Oryema Memorial lecture at Makerere University main hall organized under the theme “Police is the public and the public is the police, fostering community policing in Uganda”.
Kayihura hailed Oryema as a police officer who served his country diligently by propounding the values of professionalism, integrity, selflessness, commitment to serve and patriotism.
Oryema was Uganda’s first African Inspector General of Police, murdered on February 17, 1977 by security forces of then President Idi Amin. The public lecture was held to honour and immortalize Oreyma for his great contribution to Uganda’s security.
Kayihura argued that worldwide, individual police officers make mistakes that should not be blamed on the entire institution, citing examples of United States of America and United Kingdom.
“In the United States of America despite Barack Obama being a Black American President, he has not joined the Black Lives Matter movement and he remains rational when talking about the problem. He maintains that though there are challenges, the work of the police must be appreciated,” said Kayihura.
“That is political consensus but here politicians bash the police to get political mileage.”
Kayihura called for cooperation between the police and the public noting that maintaining law and order and fighting crime is everyone’s responsibility.
“All of us want a police force that is not brutal that is why we came up with community policing. I am happy because you talk of America and you saw Hillary Clinton during the US presidential debate saying that the solution in America is community policing.”
Kayihura applauded crime preventers for their role in helping the police to combat crime in local communities describing them as patriotic.
The chief discussant at the public lecture Dr. Frederick Golooba-Mutebi said that major political actors need to develop a system of political consensus on a win-win settlement regarding democracy and governance. The Senior Researcher and Political Analyst says that is the best way of avoiding conflict and confrontation especially by the police.
Golooba-Mutebi said that politicians have a duty to preach peace and togetherness for the sake of the country’s unity.
“Citizens should exercise every freedom and liberty they have with due recognition and observation of the responsibilities, boundaries and obligations that go with them,” said Golooba Muteebi.