The police have reinstated the roadblocks and checkpoints in all parts of the country to tighten security during this festive season, during which they anticipate an increase in criminality.
“With guidance from President Yoweri Museveni, the IGP has instructed for the immediate reinstatement of all police roadblocks and checkpoints,” police spokesperson Fred Enanga said on Monday.
SCP Enanga told journalists at Naguru police headquarters that during the period when roadblocks were removed, it was discovered that the vacuum allowed wrongdoers and criminals to commit crimes and flee.
He added that police and other sister security agencies have commenced nationwide crackdown operations aimed at tackling crime disorders, burglaries, and village thefts, among others.
“We have intensified our crackdown on criminality in the run-up to Christmas. The month of December is a holiday season full of parties, celebrations, hopping, and traveling,” he added.
According to IGP Martin Okoth Ochola, all police units have been directed to ensure all major highways are safe and use the checkpoints to arrest criminals and traffic violators.
“The roadblocks and checkpoints will now have an officer in charge of making the operational decisions of command, protection, search, and intelligence. They have also been tasked with remaining vigilant for crime prevention, deterrence, and counter-terror operations to avoid incidents like the one at our checkpoint in Luweero that was attacked. We urge all motorists to follow the instructions of police officers to stop or pull over when asked,” the IGP said.
In October 2022, President Museveni ordered Premier Robinah Nabbanja to remove all roadblocks and checkpoints from all highways in the country because they had become an impediment to the free movement of goods and corruption points.
The President also banned roadblocks and checkpoints in 2014, but they were re-established in 2016 in a traffic operation dubbed Fika Salama, which was intended to fight errant motorists.
President Museveni again ordered their removal over corruption.
Roadblocks were again established in 2020 during the enforcement of COVID-19 regulations, and many had not been removed.