Traffic police officers have been ordered off the highways and in Kampala Metropolitan Police area except in areas that are directly involved in control of traffic jam after President Yoweri Museveni accused them of corruption in his anti-graft campaign.
A message sent by the Director of Traffic and Road Safety, Dr Steven Kasiima, on Thursday, ordered all traffic commanders to act immediately.
“All personnel must be in office as per the programme ready to respond to incidents and only be on the road while conducting operations sanctioned by police headquarters and supervised physically by the District Police Commanders, Regional Traffic Officers and Officers-in-Charge,” Dr Kasiima’s message read in part.
The orders were made in consultation with the Inspector General of Police, Mr Okoth Ochola.
The recall comes at a time when more traffic officers are needed on the highways and urban areas because of increased traffic over the festive season.
In his address to the nation on the fight against corruption, President Museveni said traffic police officers were extorting money from motorists on the road and ordered the new unit based in State House to stop it.
This is not the first time the president is attacking traffic police for being corrupt.
In 2014, he ordered them to removed roadblocks on highways, which he said were being used to solicit bribes from motorists.
In Kampala Metropolitan Police Area, traffic police officers have been retained at stations that need traffic control.
“Kampala Traffic Commandant to withdraw from the road in the following stations which are not directly involved in traffic jams. These are Kisubi, Abayita Ababiri and Entebbe. They must be in office waiting for emergencies or when they are conducting traffic operations as [guided]…above,” Dr Kasiima’s order read in part.