By Stephen Kalema
The Inspector General of Police, Martin Okoth Ochola has confessed that there are many illegal fire arms in Uganda that have been smuggled in through neighbouring countries faced with wars and instabilities.
While speaking to journalists on Thursday at the Ministry of Internal Affairs in Kampala, IGP Ochola said this has led to the high number of people with unlicensed guns.
IGP Ochola’s pronouncements follow successive assassinations of many public figures since 2012 by the use illegal fire arms and a directive by President Museveni to have all guns registered.
“The only way to understand and identify the real weapon in crime will be possible after the ballistic finger printing registration. This will help us to identify the specific weapon in question for the crime committed, since we shall be having all the data bank for all fire arms we have in Uganda,” Ochola said, adding that registration is ongoing.
At the same press briefing, State minister for Internal Affairs Kania Mario Obiga defended individuals who have licensed guns, saying they are using them very well.
“There is feeling in Ugandan that people with licensed guns have a hand in committing crimes but I want to assure you that individuals in possession licensed guns are using them very well. However I want to people to know that we know all the guns that Uganda Peoples Defence Force (UPDF), we know all the guns Uganda Police has and we also know the guns that other sister security agencies have,” said Obigo.
According to the experts every gun will be registered with details and all the details will be put on the bullet shell.
“If any gun is used in crime yet registered it will be very easy to identify the owner by the help of bullet shells found at the scene of crime” said IGP Ochola.
Regarding the investigations crimes committed using fire arms, Ochola has cautioned the public to remain patient in order not interfere with the investigations.
“The office of CID is working hard, people should be patient because the only thing which can jeopardize investigations is panic, and once crime is committed must be dealt with until justice is found unless a suspect dies” added Ochola
A recent crime report by the police Flying Squad Unit shows that the Northern region registered the highest number of gun related crimes with Lira and Gulu districts registering 18.8 percent and 14.4 per cent of crimes.
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