The Masindi Resident District Commissioner (RDC), Mr Martin Mugabi, has directed local leaders in the district to arrest all hawkers without clear identification.
Mr Mugabi was responding to a concern raised by some local leaders from Central Division during a security meeting held at the Division headquarters.
During the meeting, the local leaders suspected that some hawkers renting in their areas without proper identification were behind the rampant cases of theft and other forms of criminality and insecurity in the Division.
Mr Hamza Kabaka, the Kirasa1 cell chairman said although the government imposed a curfew from 10pm, cases of theft in the night are still rampant in the area.
He suspected that some hawkers sell stolen merchandise.
“Curfew is in place but theft is increasing. This is because property owners simply allow hawkers to rent their rooms because they want money. They even don’t ask for their places of origin and they don’t know where they get their merchandise,” he said.
Adding: “You finally find that the persons stealing are the very ones we are living with. Last Thursday, I arrested a child who had jumped over an enclosure into a commercial building and I took him to the police. I told the DPC (District Police Commander) to ensure that we take that child to court in order to be a deterrent to others.
In his response, Mr Mugabi urged local leaders to be vigilant noting that some lawbreakers disguise themselves as itinerant traders to spy on their victims before they break into their homes at night.
The RDC green-lit the local leaders to arrest all hawkers without clear identification and hand them to police for further legal management.
“Don’t take them for granted. You see and call a hawker to buy something from him. You open your house and he sees the valuable items like a TV set and a sideboard in your sitting room. He writes them down and at he comes back at night and steals your household items,” Mr Mugabe said.
“Now, in this meeting, we empower you chairmen to arrest them, ask for their identification, where they come from and where they put up. After arresting them, take them to the police and we investigate,” he added.