I will give you guns, Gen Kayihura tells crime preventers

Just hours after his contract as the Inspector General of Police was renewed by President Museveni , Gen Kale Kayihura has assured crime preventers that he will help them acquire guns in order to fight the increasing violent and armed criminals that have terrorized Ugandans in different parts of the country.

Gen Kayihura says that any crime preventer willing to acquire a firearm should apply and that he will help them to acquire the riffles. He however noted that a background check would be performed to ascerrtain the loyalty and discipline of the crime preventers before a gun licence can be issued.

Security observers and political commentators have always opposed the idea of crime preventers working as an extension of the police force.

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President Museveni inspects a guard of honour mounted by one of the crime preventers dressed in NRM colours ahead of the 2016 election

However, Gen Kayihura who was speaking to a group of crime preventers at Makerere University on Friday said that over 60 crime preventers from Rwenzori region have been integrated into the police as a token of appreciation for protecting police posts during last year’s clashes between security forces and Rwenzururu Royal Guards.

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A group of crime preventers showcase their skills at their pass out ceremony

Crime preventers’ role in 2016 election

Ahead of last year’s presidential and parliamentary elections, a number of youth were recruited and train as crime preventersm, something the opposition looked at as an effort to scare their supporters since the president would preside over their passing out ceremonies.

Although Gen Kayihura says the group has helped in volunteering information to the police and therefore helping in the fight against crime, some of them have been involved in criminal activities such as killings, rape among others.

This raises question about the conduct about the conduct of the crime preventers when they acquire guns.