The Uganda Police has clarified on media reports that officers of the traffic department were ordered from all highways over corruption.
On Thursday, a message from the Director of Traffic and Road Safety, Dr Steven Kasiima, asked traffic officers on highways and in Kampala to remain in office and go to roads only for operations sanctioned from the headquarters.
“All personnel must be in office as per the programme ready to respond to incidents and only be on the road while conducting operations sanctioned by police headquarters and supervised physically by the District Police Commanders, Regional Traffic Officers and Officers-in-Charge,” read part of Kasiima’s message.
In a statement, Police says the Traffic Police department is only streamlining its operations for ensuring road safety in the festive season, through directing on areas for putting check points.
“There is a wrong story doing rounds in the social media that Traffic Police have been removed from the roads and highways. This is not correct,” read a Police statement.
“Actually, the Directorate of Traffic and Road Safety is streamlining its operations especially the FIKA SALAMA operations by directing on areas where check points will be strictly mounted,” the statement further reads.
Police says no other check point will be expected unless it is cleared by Police headquarters.
Police explains that the move is in response to complaints of extortion by some traffic officers and that areas for mounting check points on all highways have already by identified and will be communicated.
The country witnessed numerous accidents along Kampala Masaka highway in mid 2016, which prompted the Traffic Police in partnership with the Ministry of Works and Transport and the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) launched an operation dubbed “Fika Salaama” (reach safely).
The operation was intended to sensitize and discipline road users on safety and infrastructure protection.
Last week, while addressing the country on issues regarding corruption, President Yoweri Museveni singled out traffic police officers as being among the corrupt civil servants. He said the officers were taking bribes from errant motorists in exchange of letting them go.