Policing in many countries around the world is a thankless task. Low levels of crime and budgets are slashed then proactive work with communities cannot be done. High levels of crime and disorder and aggressive tactics come to the fore.
So here in Uganda with a high level of unemployment and associated crime, then the tanks, armoured vehicles, tear gas and aggression seems like the simple answer.
I dared to take this photo of the armoured vehicle and I mean I dared, if I was caught I would be in trouble. Our good friend Eddy was in Jinja Town on a lazy Friday afternoon when police fired tear gas into the road because some politician started his march without approval….yep Eddy was crying and wished Sharki3 and Fin were with him for a really great CNN type blog.
Next up we ventured to Kampala Festival where the search procedures would embarrass an airport for hostility in welcoming visitors. Yet again Eddy was singled out right behind me in the queue with aggressive policing, pulling at his bag and demanding to know if he had a bomb in there….just as we were getting back to normal another policeman, this time armed with his AK-47 yanked at his bag demanding it to be re-opened for examination.
I think Eddy’s t shirt provoked these poor men who are just trying to do a job. Well it is the only root cause I could offer Eddy, but I took my hat off to him in how calm he was in the face of obvious provocation.
My first hand report can only be that police ride around the city centre on the back of trucks with arms at the ready, police on foot carry tear gas guns with fingers on the trigger and it all seems unnecessary and that they are out of touch with society with their over aggressive approach.