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Private security companies warned against deploying guards without police notice

Deputy Kampala Metropolitan Police Spokesperson Luke Owoyesigyire.

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The police have warned private security companies against deploying guards without informing area police commanders.

Citing last weekend’s incident where two Gallant security company guards, Justus Nuweatuha and Oparu, were attacked and robbed of their gun, Luke Owoyesigyire, the Deputy Kampala Metropolitan Police Spokesperson said that the area police was not aware of their deployment.

Owoyesigyire explained that police got to learn that there were guards deployed in the area after an alert was sent that thugs had raided a chicken farm in Mutungo zone, Lweza parish, Wakiso district, and robbed the guards of their gun.

“We have a company we are investigating called Gallant security company, about the robbery that happened on their guards. We have established that Nuweatuha Justus and Oparu were deployed without informing the area police,” Owoyesigyire said.

Private security guards are directly supervised by the police department of private security organizations and firearms, currently headed by Charles Ssebambulidde.

The police not only issue licenses for operating a private security company and possession of a firearm, but also owners of such organizations as well as civilians who own personal firearms must declare weapons to the area police commander.

Even though in the process one must be recommended by the area District/Division Police Commander including DISOs, the private security company or civilians must alert the nearby police station after successfully acquiring the rifles or when deploying armed or unarmed guards to any of their clients.

But police say in some cases, security companies go ahead to deploy guards to their clients without police knowledge and only remember to involve police after an attack has happened to them.

Other than the Lweza incident, police had earlier indicated that even Bernard Nalulu who was killed by thugs along Kamuli road in Kireka last month, his deployment had not been brought to the attention of the nearby police station.

Efforts to speak to Gallant security company were futile as the contact on the website did not go through. However, Grace Matsiko, the chairman of The Uganda Private Security Association (TUPSA) said incidents of guards deployed without informing area police are isolated and regrettable.

Matsiko added that there is a tendency of police to glorify one mistake against the critical role private security companies are playing in providing security to Ugandans and their property or businesses.

“They are regrettable and isolated incidents and waiting for outcomes of the investigations…any officer of police and who are few in making negative comments on the important role PSOs play towards national security and development, they should put their efforts in asking the President to abolish PSOs and we wait to see if he can listen to them,” Matsiko said.

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