UPDF spokesperson Brig Richard Karemire has ruled out the disbandment of Local Defence Unit (LDU) despite pressure from Ugandans.
Reports of LDUs meting out brutality on people during the Covid19 lockdown have ‘ brutality have dominated the media, with activists calling for the decommissioning of the unit.
Some rogue LDU guards have faced the law for their actions. They included Thomas Jolly Opoka who got a life sentence for killing a 65-year-old in Oyam District.
Days ago, lawyers under the Legal Aid Service Providers Network (Laspnet) called for the disbandment of the auxiliary security unit.
Laspnet executive director Dr Sylivia Namubiru asked Parliament to push President Yoweri Museveni to fully institute the Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC) to handle cases of violations the LDUs have committed.
Museveni has not appointed a substantive commission chairperson since the demise, in November 2019, of Meddie Kaggwa.
Dr Katabalirwe Amooti wa Irumba is the acting UHRC Chairperson. As acting chairperson, he can’t exercise full powers as would a substantive one.
UPDF ON CALLS TO DISBAND LDU
Namubiru also asked MPs to take up the matter.
“Parliament has powers, while working with the Ministry of Internal Affairs, to disband the LDU force which has become more dangerous than Coronavirus in the country,” she said.
She further noted that while Uganda is yet to record any death out of the over 1,000 cases confirmed (most of them discharged after they recovered), LDUs had killed some people.
But in response to Laspnet’s calls and others’, Brig Karemire said “there is no reason for that.”
“They [LDUs] have over a long time, while working with other forces, contributed tremendously to peace by fighting crime,” he argued.
“The few who commit operational mistakes are always corrected and/or punished. This is on record.”