On Saturday, National Crime Preventers Forum [NCPF] launched its economic empowerment strategy, symbols and colours, unveiled its founding ideology and the intention to have a policy to regulate the work of crime preventers.
The Minister of Internal Affairs Gen. Jeje Odong was the chief guest at the conference for coordinators of crime preventers drawn from all over the country, held at International University of East Africa [IUEA] in Kansanga, Kampala.
“Today in the history of Crime Preventers since its inception we made four great strides,” said Blaise Kamugisha, the national coordinator of crime preventers.
He cited the founding ideology and instruments of power, launching of a 3-year economic empowerment strategy, unveiling the artistic impressions of the secretariat they are to build and finally the plan to have a policy on crime prevention.
The last one was announced by minister Jeje who said government is in the process of formulating a policy that will guide the operations of crime preventers around the country.
Currently the thousands of crime preventers policing the communities in which they live, operate under unclear structures with no legally defined guidelines.
Protecting Museveni on age limit
Kamugisha said crime preventers support the scrapping of the presidential age limit to allow Museveni continue ruling because he is “a visionary leader who still has a lot to do for Uganda”.
President Museveni, 73, who has been president for 31 years, will contest again in 2021 when he is above 75 years if the age limit clause is removed from the constitution.
“We exist to protect the president. That is our mandate,” Kamugisha told over 3,000 coordinators of crime preventers from various sub-counties and municipalities who attended the conference.
“We are ready to die for the president,” he went on, clarifying that their duty is to protect the president and the country.
“Our existence is the extension of the 1986 revolution,” he explained, revealing that the crime preventers have even composed a song in favour of scrapping Article 102 (b).
Kamugisha said they have the numbers to engage whoever wants to oppose the plan to have President Museveni in State House beyond 2021 and that if they mobilised only 60,000 village crime preventers’ coordinators, they would silence the country.
Police recruited crime preventers to keep order during the February 2016 general elections, a move opposition interpreted as forming a ruling party political militia to harass and intimidate them.
But Gen Jeje praised the reserve police force for ensuring the 2016 elections were the most peaceful the country has ever had.