You will all remember our beloved Ojok. Someone yelled "thief" and he was stoned to death. Now you all know better. If you blindly follow these instructions, you or your beloved will end up dead. Make no mistake about this, you are next.
APAC. The regional police commander (RPC) Lango sub-region, Mr Richard Aruk-Maruk, has ordered police personnel to shoot to kill suspected thieves in order to curb the current spate of insecurity in the area.
While addressing a security meeting in Apac Town Council on Tuesday, the RPC said people arrested for stealing or killing must be taken back to the community to determine their fate.
“Any thief caught should not be arrested but rather shot,” RPC Aruk-Maruk ordered.
“In case of a murderer, he/she will be taken back to the community where the crime has been committed to apologise to the people, therefore it will be upon the community to decide because murder is even against (teachings of) the Bible,” the officer said.
The Lango RPC encouraged all the leaders to work as a team so as to fight insecurity in Apac District. The meeting was attended by leaders, business community and the general public forcing all shops in town to remain closed.
During the meeting, angry residents attributed the increase in insecurity in the area to frequent power blackouts, unfinished buildings where thugs hide, trans night discos, drug abuse by the youth and rampant unemployment.
The meeting also blamed some corrupt police officers they accused of letting the criminals off the hook.
What the law says
The Constitution upholds the innocence of suspects until they are proven guilty by a competent court. The 1995 Constitution Article 22, Section 1 states: “No person shall be deprived of life intentionally except in execution of a sentence passed in a fair trial by a court of competent jurisdiction in respect of a criminal offence under the laws of Uganda and the conviction and sentence have been confirmed by the highest appellate court.”
However, in 2013, police issued an order allowing officers to shoot-to-kill suspected armed robbers and other violent criminals when murders became rampant in Kampala. Then Kampala Metropolitan Police spokesperson Ibin Ssenkumbi defended the stance saying putting armed individuals “out of action” is backed by law.
However, lawyers warned that shooting to kill suspects whether armed or not is nothing less than “murder in cold blood” and the perpetrators would be sued and prosecuted as individuals.