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Police vow to support KCCA to brutalise vendors

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Police has today promised to work with Kampala Capital City Authority’s law enforcement officers to rid the city of illegal vendors.

In a closed-door meeting at the Office of the Prime Minister, the Kampala Metropolitan commander Frank Mwesigwa assured the authority’s minister Beti Kamya that his men will cushion KCCA officers from hostile vendors.

Kamya also assured the officers that no one should intimidate them from doing their job, despite growing public concerns over claims of brutality and ill-mannerism.

“Feel empowered to resist any interference when you are doing your job. Resist interference even if it is from police or anyone else. We are going to work together,” said Kamya. “There shall be order in Kampala.”

She further urged the enforcement officers to desist from engaging in corrupt activities such as being compromised to release vendors arrested for illegally trading along Kampala streets.

Kamya observed the importance of law enforcement officers in cities world over, noting that Kampala is no exception.

The meeting was called days after a vendor drowned at Nakivubo channel at the hands of KCCA officers, prompting the authority to pull its officers off city streets following death threats from the public.

Charles Ouma, the KCCA deputy legal director, told the officers that they will soon be told when to resume work.

He, however, noted that the public needed to first be sensitized about the importance of law enforcement officers such that both parties could harmoniously work for a better city.

“Law enforcement officers are provided for in the legal department. No one should state that you are vigilantes because you are here by a statute which established KCCA,” said Ouma.

Some law enforcement officers complained about poor remuneration and being harassed by angry city vendors.

Kamya, however, called for calm from the public.

“People should do self-policing and that spirit of defiance even on lawful orders doesn’t help,” said Kamya.

Since the drowning of Olivia Basemera and the subsequent withdrawal of enforcement officers, the city has been littered with all kinds of vendors. Kamya says that with the help of police, the authority will send vendors back to gazetted markets and bring the city to order.

Meanwhile, the directorate of legal affairs at KCCA has drafted an ordinance bill that will help guide the authority on how to recruit and train enforcement officers and conduct operations.

Currently, the enforcement officers are recruited by the legal department on a four-month contract.

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