The police top management has ordered police commanders at different police stations across the country to recover all police property in the hands of crime preventers.
These include among others office furniture, T-shirts, computers, laptops and motorcycles. The property was given to the crime preventers by the former inspector general of police Kale Kayihura to facilitate their work.
He also favoured the crime preventers and gave them lucrative procurement deals in the force. Kayihura used the crime preventers to spy on his officers, which created hatred among the two groups. Police records indicate that there are more than 11 million crime preventers under the leadership of Crime Preventers Association of Uganda.
Some of the crime preventers received training at Kabalye police training school as part of the community policing program. The crime preventers also received more than 1300 motorcycles from Kayihura through their national coordinator, Blaze Kamugisha to ease their operations in different parts of the country.
The directorate of logistics of police has already evicted the crime preventers from their Naguru based offices. Apparently, district and divisional commanders have also begun recovering motorcycles and t-shirts from the crime preventers.
Patrick Onyango, the deputy police spokesperson, says the decision to recover police property in the hands of crime preventers stems from the president's announcement that they will now be under the Uganda People's Defense Force (UPDF) reserve force.
"I remember a while back, my boss the president said that crime preventers are now under the UPDF. When you are moving from one agency to another, you leave the equipment you have been using there. It's on this basis that if they are going there, they should leave all the police equipment that they have been using with us"
The decision by police to recover its property hasn't gone down well with some of the crime preventers. On Monday, some crime preventers intercepted the president at Queen's Way along Entebbe road and accused police of harassment and taking away their motorcycles. The president was in a hurry but promised to meet the crime preventers later.
Attempts to speak to Kamugisha, the national coordinator of crime preventers and his deputy, Brian Mauso, were futile as they would neither pick nor return our calls.