Uganda police Force does not have enough pistols to arm all traffic officers, the police spokesperson Fred Enanga has said.
While reacting to a question drawn from the President’s speech from last evening where he noted that traffic officers would soon be armed in order to deal with criminals, Enanga told a press conference at Naguru on Monday morning that they do not have enough pistols to give the officers.
The president on Sunday night told Ugandans that the gunmen who attacked Gen. Katumba wamala on 1st June, were stopped by a traffic officer at some point, but they ignored him. Museveni argued that if the officer had been armed, he would have shot the assailants.
Now, Fred Enanga says that whereas some officers like Divisional and Regional Traffic Officers are armed with pistols, there has been a challenge of arming the lower staff with the same.
“We have been pairing them with the Field Force Unit to give them protective cover in the course of conducting their traffic enforcement operations. And I think it is going to remain that way until we acquire a sufficient number of pistols to give them. Because you can’t give a traffic officer an SMG to carry, they need something that is convenient. So the pairing with FFU is going to continue until when we have a sufficient number of pistols for them” Enanga said.
Meanwhile, the police Directorate of ICT has carried out an assessment in all stations (1600 police stations) and realized that the existing Radio infrastructure is still present.
This means the Police Force is going back to using radio calls for communication. Enanga says they have reactivated the use of radio calls, walkie talkies and the signalers.
This also follows a directive from President Yoweri Museveni, issued during the State of the Nation Address on Friday. The president said police officers adopted the use of mobile phones which are unreliable when dealing with security. He therefore directed the UPF Management to go back to the traditional ways of communication, using radios.