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Public welcomes police order on Kifesi who impound motorcycles, but questions remain if it can hold


Public welcomes police order on Kifesi who impound motorcycles, but questions remain if it can hold

Tens of thousands of boda bodas are rotting at police stations out of illegal activities by kifesi

The Commander of Kampala Metropolitan Police, SCP Stephen Tanui has stopped all non uniformed persons from impounding boda bodas with immediate effect.

The directive by Kampala Metropolitan Commander SCP Tanui reads in part that:

“All motor cycle operations must be conducted exclusively by police officers in uniform.

The operation should be led by Traffic Police officers, with support from other uniformed police officers. No police officer, except Traffic Police, is authorized to impound a motorcycle.

Any civilian found impounding motor cycles will be subject to immediate arrest and prosecution in court.

Motorcyclists are advised not to surrender their motorcycles to individuals wearing civilian/plain clothes. In case of such attempts, they should promptly inform the police about the location of such unauthorized operations.

Read the full statement

Members of the public have welcomed the directives but with mixed views.

While some say it is long overdue, others have voiced skepticism that it will be enforced because the illegality has been ongoing for so long, suggesting that some police officers benefit from the work of non-uniformed personnel aka Kifesi and would be reluctant to enforce it.

Although SCP Tanui has urged boda bodas cyclists to resist such arrests by non-uniformed persons, the sheer force exerted by ‘Kanyamas’ who arrest them often with support from uniformed officers, risks to trigger a bloody fight with boda bodas cyclists.

The skeptics perhaps have reason to doubt the will or even capacity of KampalaPolice to enforce the directive.

Uganda’s recent history is littered with incidents of unauthorized persons being used by security agencies to beat up citizens with the explicit support of the police and the army.

For example, during the November 2020 riots in Kampala, plain clothed individuals were seen holding guns and shot people indiscriminately.

Previously, security agencies have turned to Muscular men with Whips ‘Kiboko’ to quell unrest.

Despite these incidents that raise suspicion in the minds of Ugandans, the public should know that securing their freedom will not be a walk in the park but instead a spirited fight.

This would for example require members of the public to record such continued illegal impounding of boda boda cycles, and publicise it through social media platforms.



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