By Stephen Kalema
An Interpol report from Operation Usalama – Swahili language word for peace – has still crowned Mukono the leading district in vandalizing government property. The central Uganda district is followed by Ntungomo in the western part of the country.
While reading findings from the Operation Usalama, on Friday, Interpol boss AIGP Fredrick Yiga noted that Mukono residents have stolen all road guards of just concluded roads.
“When one looks at this Mukono- Katosi road, all the metallic guards have been cut off by heartless people,” Yoga said at the Interpol headquarters on Friday.
Ntungamo district, however, is reputed for vandalizing high voltage electric power cables, metallic poles and connectors
According to Yiga, during Operation Usalama, suspects in Mukono were arrested driving metallic road guards in a canter truck Reg no UBA 476C. The truck has simxr been impounded.
“I want caution the owners of trucks which were found carrying these vandalized government materials not to think their truck will be freed. Owners will have to come out and explain to the authorities why these cars are doing a disservice to Uganda,” said Yiga
Yiga expressed his total disappointment towards people of Mukono who have decided to fight development in their community.
“Vandalizing such expansive assets makes Uganda suffer. Some of roads are built on loans, so if one steals it will again necessitate government to ask for loan to replace the stolen property. Heartless Ugandans are doing a disservice to the development of the country and as Interpol we shall fight against this,” added Yiga
Vandals in Mukono have also destroyed transformers year in, year out.
According to Jason Muwaza, the Mukono district Umeme manager, in 2016 over 10 transformers were stolen while six were lost in 2017.
Up until May 2018, nine transformers have been vandalized. Replacing a transformer costs about Shs37m.
“The cost of property vandalised is not pocket money,” Yoga said.
Operation Usalama started on August 27 and was concluded on October 2.
The operation was carried allover East African countries under the Eastern Africa Police Chiefs Cooperation Organization (EAPCCO) and Southern African Regional Police Chiefs Cooperation Organization (SARPCCO) with the goal of curbing cross boarder crimes such as theft of vehicles, human trafficking, vandalism, stolen documents, wildlife and environmental crimes, narcotics and terrorism. Over 27 suspects were arrested and 14 stolen vehicles were recovered.
It followed Operations Fagiya which was aimed at fighting against trading counterfeit goods.