The Uganda Police force has distributed 96 motorcycles to all its eighteen divisions in Kampala metropolitan area ahead of Thursday’s elections. The motorcycles are intended to enable swift response to election-related violence that may arise during or after the polling exercise.
A security source said some of the major divisions have been given 10 motorcycles which will be used by standby teams established at each division. Other divisions, according to the source, have received at least five motorcycles.
The motorcycles have reportedly been distributed depending on the number of police officers attached to the division, the number of polling stations in their area of jurisdiction and violent incidents often recorded by the division.
“I counted 96 motorcycles that were brought in KMP [Kampala Metropolitan Policing Area] and I know they have been already distributed. CPS [Kampala Central Police Station] was the first to get 10 motorcycles,” the source said.
Some of the police divisions that have received 10 motorcycles include Jinja Road, CPS, Katwe, Old Kampala and Kawempe. URN reporter found the new brand motorcycles parked at Jinja Road and CPS.
CPS, Katwe, Old Kampala and Jinja Road often lead in crimes of violence, threatening violence, assaults and economic related offences. In 2019, Katwe topped assault cases with 960 while CPS led in economic crimes but came second in violence-related incidents.
Police’s Police Advisory Committee –PAC chaired by Inspector General of Police, Martin Ochola, in august resolved to purchase motorcycles, ambulances, patrol vehicles and trucks for this year’s general elections.
Ochola, while addressing the media on Friday, said police and sister security agencies had developed a multi-layered plan that includes patrols on motorcycles and vehicles.
“We have since addressed the security gaps, about what happened during the violent riots and demonstrations. And now have a multi-layered security response of patrol groups on foot, motorcycles and patrol vehicles. We have practiced active drills on several scenarios including violent riots, radical youth groups, cyber harassment, clashes between rival groups,” Ochola said.
Other logistics police have procured for elections include Renault patrol and lead vehicles, teargas canisters, teargas trucks and riot shields.