In the wake of a spate of murders around Buganda some time last year, the regime used it as an excuse and quickly recruited a militia who they dubbed the LDU force. Such a force would under normal circumstances be a purely local defence team managed by the Local administration.
Before Museveni came, there was the Local Administration Police then nicknamed MUSIRIKE before it was unceremoniously disbanded by the NRM regime.
The role of this Local Police outfit was basically the mantainance of Public order like crowd control during functions, enforcement of Local Government regulations and they were based at the Subcounties.
The Country also had the Uganda Securiko company that individuals and institutions would hire for security guard duties. The Securiko officers worked under the Uganda Police force.
The Uganda Police force was solely for the enforcement of the Penal Code Act and rescue in the well laid out departments of,Criminal investigation (CID),Traffic,Policing Division, the Fire Brigade Marines and Airforce Police.
The Police also had the brass and jazz Bands as well as the Police Football team. The Police was then entirely indepedent of the army.
On the other hand, there was the Uganda Prison service with three sections namely, the National Prisons, Local Government Prisons and the Remand Home for the juveniles.
The Prison service also ran the Prisons Band and the Maroons footbal and Netball teams plus the Athletics squad.
When Museveni took power, he announced that he was going to demystify the Gun and therefore started training ordinary people on how to use guns and introduced the cadres to military doctrines.
Around the same period he introduced what was named the Local Defence Force which has continued to change names as more and more people get conscripted into security organs.
The LDU were dropped in the 1990s and replaced Special Police Constables or SPCs, then the Crime Preventors and now back full circle to LDUs.
Thousands and thousands of people especiallly those with criminal records have been deliberately recruited, trained and armed under the pretext of fighting crime.
The government has similarly created several other militia forces some attached to the Police or the army.
In addition stand-alone paramilitary units disguised as police have been constituted such as the land police, environmental police, fish police etc.
This has led rise to the number of guns in circulation. Ironically, the more the guns that are presumably protecting the people and their property, the more the insecurity and criminality in the Country. Currently, the official Police record shows that 21 Ugandans get murdered everyday.
The Writer is Betty Nambooze Bakireke Member of Parliament of Mukono Municipality.
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