There was a time in our history when Ugandans used to look at the Police as a force for good. There was a time when Ugandans trusted the Police to protect them from danger. For many years, Ugandans feared the Army and only run to the police for protection.
One day we woke up and the police had changed their uniform to look like the army. They started donning camouflages. Then they introduced the death black with belts of bullets and grenades, > and they abandoned their plastic helmets for the metallic ones.
Overnight, the police started using intimidating and scaring language every time they appeared before the media. The police had overnight, metamorphosed into a force that started tear-gassing and brutally beating up Ugandans every time Ugandans wished to exercise their constitutional rights.
In no time, Ugandans lost faith and trust in the Uganda police and instead diverted their trust into the Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF). Today, Ugandans trust the army and they hate the police because the police has been terrorizing them for a long time.
In most cases, the police is depicted on national television, either running after or engaging in fierce battles with some people. These days, every time you chance to see our police, it is as if they are going to war.
Today’s police are so angry that you wonder why they are angry with fellow Ugandans may be that’s a study for another day. That notwithstanding, there is need for the police to re-examine their conscience as they go about their work.
We have read or seen how historically, the police and the army have been discarded after electing new government into power. Most affected have almost always been those who have usually been blacklisted as the enemies of the people.
In the last few years, it has become progressively difficult to like the police of today because of its hostility towards the people they are supposed to protect. Today you feel better off and or safer meeting a soldier than meeting or having to deal with a policeman. When you engage the ordinary police person why they hate the people, they tell you they work on orders. You only need to listen to the police leaders speak to believe or disbelieve the bad police we have come to hate because of their hostility towards us.
As we go through a fiercely competitive period of electioneering, may the police remember that there is life after elections, for ourselves and for themselves? Most importantly, we need to pray that our police does its best not to look like the Burundi police.