Unbearable Extortion: Police Commanders In Trouble For Releasing Impounded Motorcycles

Motorcycles impounded during the swearing of President Yoweri Museveni have landed police commanders in trouble after the police leadership ordered a probe into how they were released without the cyclists paying the penalty of 40,000 shillings.

We’ve learnt that the Assistant Inspector-General of Police, Edward Osiru Ochom, who is also director of police operations has tasked each of the commanders to explain how motorcycles impounded during and after Museveni swearing were taken from the station without proof of paying penalties to the bank.

Museveni took oath on May 12, after he was declared winner of the January 14 presidential elections with 58 percent. The closest challenger Robert Ssentamu Kyagulanyi scored 35 percent.

On the eve of Museveni swearing, joint security agencies anticipated criminal activities that were intended to disrupt the swearing ceremony that took place at Kololo Independence grounds. This followed a series of petrol bomb incidents in Kampala.

In a bid to prevent criminality, military and police accompanied by Local Defence Units –LDUs mounted several roadblocks targeting riders and drivers violating curfew hours. At least 1,700 motorcycles and over 70 cars were impounded.

A directive was given to all commanders to make sure that each of the impounded motorcycles pays a 40,000 Shillings penalty to the bank before they are released to the owners.

The Director of Traffic Police, CP Lawrence Niwabiine informed traffic commanders to ensure that they explain to riders how to pay the express penalties.

Ochom adds that they have information about police officers that have been extorting money from boda boda riders after impounding their motorcycles.

Ochom vows to deal with all police officers extorting money from riders instead of advising them to pay penalties.

It is reported that out of 1,700 motorcycles impounded during and after Museveni swearing, only about 200 paid express penalties. Besides, policemen and other security agencies have been impounding at least 100 motorcycles per night but owners pay shillings 20,000 to 50,000 Shillings to regain them.

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