Members of parliament on the defence committee has tasked the Uganda Police Force to undertake an audit to ascertain the exact number of crime preventers in the country.
To date, the number of crime preventers is not exact, with many reports indicating conflicting figures. Former police chief Kale Kayihura quoted the figure of 11 million, however, President Museveni last month said there are 12 million crime preventers in the country. But, the National Crime Preventers Forum, says there are at least 30 crime preventers per village, meaning this would translate to 1.7 million crime preventers.
It is to be remembered that the police started recruiting crime preventers in 2013 to help in community policing. But after the appointment of Martin Okoth-Ochola to replace Kayihura in March, President Museveni announced that crime preventers would now fall under the reserve force in the army.
Earlier this week, the Minister of State for Veterans Affairs, Bright Rwamirama said the crime preventers would be retrained.
IGP Martin Okoth-Ochola told parliament on Thursday, that the force will do an audit on the number of crime preventers to establish the actual strength. This was after concerns voiced by legislators on the committee.
The IGP says that there shall not be any gap in the policing since before crime preventers came in, the Police were working. He says Police will dominate and occupy the space. Ochola was appearing before the Parliamentary Committee on Defence alongside Ministers of Internal Affairs Jeje Odongo and Obiga Kania, and the Deputy IGP Sabiti Muzeeyi.
The Butambala County Member of Parliament Muwanga Kivumbi had asked the Police to give the exact number of crime preventers and how they are going to deal with the transition.