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Wednesday, November 30, 2022

NRM primaries violence: Museveni orders IGP Ochola to develop guidelines to stop police shootings

President Yoweri Museveni has directed Police Chief Inspector General of Police (IGP) Martins Okoth Ochola to produce a manual clearly showing the procedures on gun use.

The Commander in Chief wants Ochola to have come up with the manual and distributed it to all police and Local Defence Unit (LDU) personnel by October 15.

This means that the IGP has less than a month to complete the assignment.

Museveni also expects Ochola to emphasize crowd control and management guidelines as stipulated by the Public Order Management Act.

Violence in the recently held National Resistance Movement (NRM) primary elections informed Museveni’s directive to the police chief.

He cited violence in Isingiro where police shot two dead, Katakwi and Bugiri, where one person, in each, was killed in police and LDU shootings.

“In Katakwi, civilians were fighting among themselves during the elections. Why shoot them? Why not scare them by shooting in the air or simply arresting them,” wrote Museveni.

“It was said that in Bugiri, some members of the public stoned the armed personnel. That was bad. However, shooting to kill should not have been the first option. They should have identified the stone thrower and arrested him for prosecution.”

The head of state also wants Ochola to empahasize the use of non- lethal means like tear gas, or using shields, fire live bullets in the air.

Police and LDUs should only fire to disable if the rioters are charging forward unstoppably and endangering the lives of the security personnel, he guided.

“There should be a proclamation by using handheld micro-phones to warn them to disperse. Inform them of your intention to use forceful means,” he added.

Museveni also made it clear that the IGP must remind officers that ‘orders-to-shoot’ are given by commanders.

Not every officer should shoot at people when they want.

Ochola is also expected to draft and circulate guidelines for use of guns by private security organisations.

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