On Monday Uganda Police Force de-gazetted four of its 17 uniforms, these include the white traffic, Brown camouflage won by the Anti-Stock Theft Unit (ASTU) officers, the blue Marine police uniform, and the dark blue uniforms won by Aviation Police Officers.
On the same day, Police also unveiled another new Traffic Police uniform which is a khaki uniform, accompanied by an ashy- white beret, belt and girder while female traffic officers will be wearing khaki and special white caps.
All ASTU police officers will now be wearing the Field Force Unit camouflage uniform, Marine police will be wearing khaki and blue caps while Aviation police will wear the Counter-Terrorism unit uniform.
According to the chairman of the police uniform committee, AIGP Asan Kasingye, the decision was based on a resolution by the Police Council that sat on November 18, 2019. They decided to reduce police uniforms from 17 to 13 and in the same meeting, they also resolved to design uniforms, particularly for females as opposed to giving them general uniforms.
As Kasingye noted that the use of new uniforms will take immediate effect, on Tuesday morning all routes leading in and out of the capital were filled with traffic officers clad in their new attires.
In interviews conducted by this website, a good number of Ugandans said they preferred the old white uniform to the new one. They say with the old uniform, it was easy to differentiate a traffic officer from other police officers.
Ali Musa Kimbugwe,a taxi driver at Kawempe Ku taano stage said; “We were used to the white uniform but today it was total confusion.It is not easy now to identify traffic officers. I don’t know why they changed because the khaki and white cups will confuse us.”
Ivan Kayembe a taxi driver at Usafi taxi park also noted,“The uniform looks good but it is not better than the white one, we had gotten used to the white one. I’m worried because even crooks can use it to steal money from people. The white one was unique and it seems it was not accessible to non-traffic officers but the khaki one is easily accessible. You wait, you are going to see thugs are going to use it. Time will come when we no longer able to know who is a traffic officer and who is not.”
Kayongo Mutebi a taxi driver at the City Square stage asked his fellow drivers to appreciate the new uniform than bashing it. “I think change is a good thing, as Police, they know why they changed, the white one has been good but let us also appreciate the new one. I don’t have any problem with it. In fact, the ladies are looking nice.”
One of the traffic officers who preferred anonymity said that even by the time the white uniform was brought, people complained but later they got used to it.
“They will get used to it, nothing has changed much we are the same officers, we have only changed the uniforms.It is good that they are now appreciating us but they must not get scared because we are the same people who have been wearing the white uniform.”
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