Driver of police van used as taxi arrested

Police has arrested one of its own personnel identified as Sgt/Driver Christopher Okello for misuse of a police van on Saturday.

In a video that has since gone viral on social media, the suspect was captured on camera, transporting passengers at a fee to Kampala in a police van.

I have noted with concern a video circulating on social media showing a @PoliceUg van transporting citizens at a cost.
We are investigating the allegations and if found to be true, the culprits will face the law.
Let’s be vigilant and report criminality. #StayHome

— Robinah Nabbanja (@RobinahNabbanj1) June 19, 2021

The video prompted newly confirmed Ugandan Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja to call for a swift investigation into the matter and culprits brought to book. It would not be long before Police announced the arrest of the driver of the police van seen in the video.

It’s a shame and they will be handled as per our laws. Don’t again say that they only need psychosocial counseling like the sgt who was filmed drinking in the public. We need to be assertive when it comes to discipline.

— AIGP Asan Kasingye (@AKasingye) June 19, 2021

Police spokesperson Fred Enanga said in a statement that the suspect was identified from this video and is now under their custody.

Enanga said that if found guilty, the suspect could be dismissed from the police force.

“The driver was immediately tracked down, as soon as the video footage came to our attention, and arrested from as far as Kole District, enroute to his home District in Alebtong,” Enanga said.

“He is being charged with scandalous behaviour, which attracts a dismissal, disobedience of lawful orders and acting negligently in a manner likely to spread the virus.”

Enanga said the force deals robustly with any form of indiscipline among its officers, and thanked the public for recording and sharing the video on such acts of what he termed as ‘gross misconduct by officers.’

“The Uganda Police Force, is a disciplined force, which does not condone any misuse of its fleet, more so during a critical period of the pandemic, where a good percentage of our fleet including buses, lorries, vans and motorcycles are redirected towards the enforcement of the anti-COVID-19 measures,” Enanga said.

“The shameful act is in direct contrast with our fleet management protocols, where all police drivers are as a MUST directed to park their vehicles at their work stations. The errant driver is attached to the Public Relations Department, did not adhere to the Force instructions.”

President Yoweri Museveni declared a second national lockdown on Friday, June 18. In the presidential directive, movement of public transport and private vehicles is prohibited. This has left many with the challenge of getting transportation to their workplaces.