By Patrick Edward Musisi, Mukono

The Minister of Gender, Labour and Social Development, Hajat Janat Mukwaya has advised sub-county and village leaders to form security groups to counter rampant cattle thefts in their localities, instead of waiting for police which she said is sometimes too slow.

The Minister also blamed police for meddling with evidence in offences of a capital nature, and noted that this has resulted into cases of mob justice.

“People often take the law into their hands but as leaders do you stop to ask yourselves why this is so? You need to examine the conduct of your police officers handling cases especially investigators who frustrate complainants,” she noted.

Mukwaya was on Tuesday reacting to a report by Kyampisi LC 3 chairman, Haji Ibrahim Kabambwe, who said the CIID personnel at Naggalama Police Station have a tendency of frustrating people filing reports by meddling with evidence and in effect making it difficult for complainants to pin culprits.

Min Janat Mukwaya addressing residents of Kyampisi on Tuesday during his monitoring and evaluation round of government poverty reduction programmes

The minister who was on a monitoring and evaluation round of youth livelihood (YLP) and Uganda Women Entrepreneurship Programme (UWEP) in Kyampisi sub-county, had received a report from Kabambwe to the effect that a rape suspect had his dreadlocked hair cut off, earrings removed and clothes changed, to make it difficult for the complainant to
identify her at a parade.

“Honourable minister, our area is infested with rapists, defilers, cattle thieves  and marijuana smokers, but in an atmosphere where police side with them, it has become increasingly difficult for us to control the problem”, Kabambwe had reported.

Mukono Mayor George Fred Kagimu (red tie) explaining a point to the minister during his visit to projects in the municipality on Tuesday

Mukwaya concurred with him that nowadays, there is a lot of temptation for youths to be lured into crime, and warned the unnamed CIID officers at Naggalama that they may consider themselves successful in their connivance with criminals, but that their files before the Lord were still open.

She then advised the leaders right from village level, to form vigilante groups, provide them with gumboots, torches and whistles to take charge of their own security, instead of wholly depending on police which they have identified to have weaknesses.