An informed and mobilised community is all that is needed to succeed in overcoming the COVID-19 pandemic in communities where law enforcement may not reach.
This is the assessment of the Head of Community Policing Department in the Uganda Police Force, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Anatoli Muleterwa.
Muleterwa made these remarks while interacting with local authorities in Kigezi region in an effort to woo them to be proactive in fighting the spread of COVID-19 along Uganda’s border with Rwanda and Tanzania.
Muleterwa who was in the company of SP Cyprian Okiino made the calls as he met the local leaders and heads of security at the border lines of Bunagana, Cyanika, Katuna and Mirama hills and Mutukula respectively.
“We realized that the one way to prevent COVID and enforcement of presidential directives can only be affective by mobilizing the communities and sensitizing them on issues of how to prevent the spread of COVID-19, step up vigilance, alertness on boarders and partnering to fight other general crimes and ensure there community support, as you are aware the nature of the boarders along these areas being porous in nature,” said Muleterwa.
Muleterwa argued that by mobilizing local leaders and business communities, it is possible to overcome all the challenges affecting effective implementation of Presidential directives and Ministry of Health SOPs along border lines.
“We feel that if this is stepped up we shall control illegal border movements and the spread of COVID-19, we therefore call for cooperation in this fight as its one of the pillars of community policing,” he said.
He however called upon all police officers to ensure that they supervise, guide, empower and seek for community support citing that it’s the only way they can fully cub crimes at border points.
“By so doing, we shall be so proactive which can only be a success if we are more interactive, open and vigilant,” he said.