Kampala Traffic Police boss transferred to Masindi amid corruption allegations
ASP Julius Luyima has been under probe following public outcry about corruption in metropolitan traffic department
TRAFFIC | Police chief Martin Okoth Ochola has transferred the officer in charge of traffic at Kampala Central Police Station Julius Luyima to far-flung Masindi District.
The transfer of ASP Luyima, which is seen as a demotion of sorts, follows public outcry about corruption and extortion carried out by Traffic Police officers while conducting operations in the city.
The transfer comes days after IGP Ochola instituted a team of investigators from Police Professional Standards Unit to probe KLuyima and other traffic officers who have been accused of carrying operations with the aim of extorting from motorists.
According to a police message, Luyima will now be operating 210.7km in Masindi District while ASP Joy Zilamuke will will move in the opposite direction.
Luyima has been sent upcountry alongside ASP Israel Wambetsyo, the Deputy Kampala Metropolitan traffic commander in charge of operations.
There has been public outcry about CPS Traffic Police arresting thousands of boda boda riders weekly only to be extorted using his middlemen while a few are given express penalties to pay in bank while the poor end in courts.
It is reported that since President Museveni ordered a crackdown on reckless boda boda operators, Traffic Police from CPS under directives from their superior used it as an opportunity to reap from the suspects.
It was against this background that IGP Ochola stopped further crackdown on boda boda operators after being informed that some traffic officers had turned it into their daily source of bread through arresting riders and getting money from them in order to be set free.
“The IGP received some complaints from several members of the public and from boda boda industry that some traffic officers and other people connected to officers have accumulated a lot of wealth from these operations,” a source familiar with the changes said.
It is reported that Ochola has in possession a list of all traffic officers from KMP, who have extorted millions of shillings through these operations.
“Some officers have built houses while others bought expensive cars in not later than five months. We want those officers to be investigated where they got the money,” a petition to IGP reads in part.
Sources added that people informed the IGP that most extortion is conducted at Central Police Station Kampala and Katwe Police Station where most suspects are detained.
“IGP, I want to inform you that CPS Traffic Police officers arrests more than 200 boda boda riders daily and not more than 40 are taken to courts of law,” another person was quoted as telling IGP Ochola.
“After the officers bring suspects from the field, his team camps in room 35 where the suspects are taken for statement recording and they start demanding between shs150,000-Shs200,000 if they want them to be released,” another victim says.
Those who give money to these middle men take release orders to their superior’s office, signs on them and suspects are released immediately without charge.
“If you want a release of your motor cycle, you have to pass through his agents who are always staged in the canteen of CPS disguising as workers while others moves around traffic offices,” the accusations to IGP added..
The IGP had also secretly put a team of PSU investigators to investigate ASP Luyima and other traffic officers who were mentioned in the extortion racket.