Kampala, Uganda | URN | The Uganda People’s Defence Forces [UPDF] has prepared 13,000 personnel to monitor next week’s presidential and parliamentary general elections.
A security source said the UPDF leadership had resolved to deploy 6,000 soldiers in Kampala while the rest will be deployed in other major towns. These are intended to back up police in ensuring there are no violent and chaotic scenes during and after next Thursday’s presidential and parliamentary elections exercise.
“Soldiers are going to work with the police and all election-related operations will be led by police and military commanders. For Kampala, 6,000 soldiers will join the police and Local Defence Units [LDUs]. More than half of this number has already been deployed in strategic points in Kampala,” a security source said.
Brig Flavia Byekwaso, who is UPDF spokesperson, declined to divulge details on numbers for security purposes. She, however, confirmed that there is enough deployment in Kampala Metropolitan Area.
Our reporter has noticed army deployments in several strategic places of Kampala City. There is the presence of Special Forces Command [SFC] at Clock Tower at the headquarters of police’s Fire and Emergency Rescue directorate.
Soldiers are deployed at Kaleerwe–Gayaza road junction and some are stationed at several buildings in the Central Business District [CBD] particularly the Kisekka Market area. Some soldiers are already attached to key police stations and divisions in Kampala.
During night hours, road checkpoints are conducted by police assisted by soldiers and LDUs.
Soldiers are often seen on foot patrols in areas of Kireka, Kyaliwajjala, Namugongo, Goma Division in Mukono Municipality and Mukono town.
“I am telling you this, expect pre-emptive operations. We are going to have raids and arrests on all groups our intelligence will reveal that they are planning to cause chaos during or after elections. By end of this week, expect strictness on the observance of curfew hours,” security source intimated.
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President Yoweri Museveni last Friday appointed, Maj Gen Kayanja Muhanga, as overall Kampala coordinator for all joint security operations. Gen Muhanga will be reporting directly to Museveni.
Gen Muhanga, according to Lt Col Deo Akiiki, who is deputy Army Spokesperson will be a link between Police, UPDF, CMI, ISO, LDUs, Flying Squad and Crime Intelligence.