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The Truth: Why IGP Ochola suspended Operation of 39 Private Security Companies

By Davis Mugabi

Days ago, the Police confirmed halting the operating licenses for thirty nine Private Security Companies.

Attributing the directive to the Inspector General of Police, Martins Okoth Ochola, Deputy Police Spokesperson Polly Namaye said the companies failed to fulfill some or all of the necessary conditions for license renewal last year(2022) as per Regulation 14 (d) of the Police (Control of Private Security Organisations) Regulations 2013.

Some of the conditions, she said, include; An NSSF certificate of clearance; Evidence of payment of gun licensing fees/ gun rental fees and Evidence of annual inspection of the company.

“A detailed list of these companies can be found at all Police Stations and Regional Police headquarters. All regional Police Commanders have been instructed to ensure that these companies halt their operations and ensure compliance to the suspension. A team of officers from the Private Security and Firearms department have been instructed to conduct withdrawal/ recovery of firearms from the respective PSOs. Uganda Police Force continues to receive requests for license reinstatement from PSOs whose licenses were previously suspended. This will depend on whether the necessary conditions for renewal of the license have been fulfilled,” Namaye said in a statement.

 According to Namaye, the Directorate of Operations has developed Standard Operating Procedures for all Private security Companies. Each PSO has been supplied a copy of the SOPs for compliance.

“Important to note is that each Private Security Guard shall receive mandatory training based on a standard training curriculum. Deployment of security guards shall depend on their successful accomplishment of this mandatory training,” Namaye said.

We have since established that the suspension follows a wave of gun violence in the country.

According to a well-placed source, guns belonging to PSOs were either used in robberies or hired out to robbers. In some cases, the sources say, the guards themselves participated in robberies. Other cases, according to the source, relate to general indiscipline of private guards.

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