A total of 48 guns and 524 live ammunition were recovered from suspected criminals in 2017, a report by the Police Flying Squad indicates.
The said guns, the bulk of which are Submachine Guns (SMGs) are said to have been used in different offenses including unlawful possession of fire arms or ammunition, aggravated robbery, attempted robbery, theft, murder and neglect of duty.
Police say that 30 of the guns were SMGs with 413 rounds of ammunition, 6 Semi Auto Pistols with 9 rounds of ammunition and 6 Pistols with 46 rounds of ammunition. Others are 2 Light Machine Guns, 2 Pump Action guns, an SKS and MAS gun.
The report signed by Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Herbert Muhangi who commands the Police Flying Squad was released at a press conference by Police Spokesperson, SSP Emilian Kayima on Monday.
“Some of the guns were marked as belonging to the police and UPDF. They are suspected to have been robbed from our officers,” Kayima told the press.
Eleven of the guns had a Police mark while two had the UPDF mark and one belonged to the Prisons Service.
Kayima however noted that majority of the rifles are unmarked and are believed to have been sneaked into the country from neighbouring countries.
“For those that understand the geopolitics of Uganda, you must know that some of our neighbouring countries like DRC and South Sudan have for long suffered war. We suspect that these guns originate from these countries,” he added.
According to Kayima many of the guns were recovered from Kasese district while others were found in Gulu, Hoima, Bududa, Jinja, Iganga, Lira and Mutukula among other areas.
He appealed to members of the public to report any persons suspected to be in possession of a gun.
Police is grappling with the rising cases of serious crime, many of which are committed by armed assailants. Prominent figures including former Police spokesperson, Andrew Felix Kaweesi have been assassinated by gun wielding criminals but investigations have not yielded any results.
There has also been incidents where police officers on duty were killed and their guns stolen.
However, some cases point to police as being part of the gun crime problem, particularly in circumstances where police officers have misused their arms to either commit robbery or murder.
Coincidentally, the report by the Police Flying Squad comes amidst an ongoing investigation into circumstances under which a Senior Commissioner of Police sold over 20 guns and live ammunition to a steel company as ‘residue’.
Last week, this website broke a story about a botched deal in which Assistant Commissioner of Police, Good Mwesigwa allegedly sold scrap including guns and ammunition to Tembo Steel Company.