President Museveni has directed the Inspector General of Police, Martin Okoth Ochola to publish a manual on use of guns and issue it to all police officers and personnel of Local Defence Unit (LDUs).
In a letter which was also published on his social media platforms, Museveni says the manual which will guide the security personnel on the proper use of firearms and how to engage public gatherings in line with the Public Order Management Act (POMA).
The manual according to the president’s directive should be printed by not later than October,15, 2020.
Museveni cites recent incidents of shootings involving police and LDUs in Bugiri and Katakwi during the NRM primaries in which several people were injured noting that these were unnecessary if security agents knew how to use guns.
“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….it is said 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.” Museveni said.
Museveni noted that any form of shooting ought to have been meant to disperse the crowd by shooting in the air.
He explained that any form of shooting must be on command and not by individual security personnel letting off guns whereas standing orders for riot control, should begin with diplomacy which includes telling rioters to disperse.
“There should be a proclamation by using handheld micro-phones to warn them to disperse. Inform them of your intention to use forceful means. Use non- lethal means like tear gas. Using shields, fire live bullets in the air,” Museveni said.
“Only firing to disable if the rioters are charging forward unstoppably and endangering the lives of the security personnel.”
The President however warned that nobody should be allowed to carry a gun anywhere in the country on behalf of the state and engage in dealing with the public.
“Each police post must have a copy of these procedures and all the police personnel and LDUs attached to policing areas individually must be conversant to the last letter of these procedures.”
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