27 February 2019

Uganda: Police Declines to Renew Licences of 130 Private Security Firms

The inspector general of police, Okoth Ochola has declined to renew the licenses of private security organisations (PSOs) until their employees and criminal records are fully audited.

As a result, more than 130 privately registered security firms have been operating without licenses since December 31, 2018 when their old licenses expired. Recently, Ochola disclosed that the director of operations Uganda Police Force, Asuman Mugyenyi presented a list of the private security firms and their contracts to his office for renewal but he declined to sign them.

A committee led by Mugyenyi has since been set up to evaluate the performance of the private security firms and the criminal liability brought by their employees. Police records indicate that 80 per cent of the robberies at guarded premises are masterminded by the security guards.

For example, security guards are believed to have played a key role in the recent attempted robbery at dfcu bank branch in Bwaise where one of the employees was raped for refusing to open the strong room.

The two guards who were attached Securex Security firm vanished after the attack. A detective who has been investigating robberies cases for the last six years told URN that most of the private security firms barely know their employees and don't help police to track the errant guards.

"First they don't take criminal liability or whatever liability for the actions of their employees. Even when these people go on the run, they never help looking for them yet they are supposed to know them better, " the detective said.

Efforts by our reporter to get a comment from the chairperson of Private Security Organisations Association, Faizal Kazoora were futile as he couldn't be reached on his known phone numbers.

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