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Police retrains 120 flying squad operatives to handle gun violence, terrorism

Police spokesperson Fred Enanga

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The police force has retrained 120 Flying Squad operatives to handle incidents related to gun violence and terrorism ahead of the festive season.

Police spokesperson Fred Enanga said the operatives who are now attached to the directorate of crime intelligence have undergone a three-month refresher course and will be deployed in districts that are known to have high incidents of violent crimes such as armed and aggravated robberies.

Some of those districts include Kampala, Wakiso, Mukono, Mbarara, Jinja, Masaka, Arua, Moyo and Mubende. A month before his demise, Lt Gen Paul Lokech, who was deputy Inspector General of Police reverted flying squad to Crime intelligence directorate thus ending its autonomy as an independent police unit.

In addition, Lokech reverted the commanders to general duties and later redeployed them to upcountry police stations in areas of Sebei, Bukedi and Elgon. The Policy Advisory Committee (PAC) resolved to send the junior police officers and other operatives to a three months retraining before they are redeployed.

Enanga said the 120 operatives will be working on intelligence and will not be involved in anything related to investigations. Their role will be trailing and tracing criminal gangs that engage in robberies, kidnaps, terrorism and fraud. Uganda is currently having terrorism incidents where two Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) exploded on October 23 and 25, leaving two people Emily Nyinaneza and Isaac Matovu dead.

Police say some of the operatives will be deployed on highways such as Masaka, Mbale, Gulu, particularly to offer a swift response to criminal incidents on roads. Flying Squad became infamous during the reigns of former Inspector General of Police Gen Edward Kale Kayihura when several suspects in the murder of Muslim clerics, Maj Muhammad Kiggundu and AIGP Andrew Felix Kaweesi were tortured to the extreme.

Besides torture, Flying Squad then headed by ACP Herbert Muhangi was being accused of conducting highway robberies, vehicle thefts and breaking into businesses that keep huge amounts of money. However, Martin Ochola, in his first acts as IGP after replacing Gen Kayihura, dissolved Flying Squad but later restored it under the direct supervision of AIGP Grace Akullo.

Since Ochola started his reign on March 4, 2018, Flying Squad has had three commanders who include Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Peter Kakonge, SSP Godwin Turamye and now SSP Andrew Kaggwa. Now serving under the directorate of crime intelligence, police says the operatives will only be serving on assignment by the director Brig Chris Damulira.



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