KAMPALA, UGANDA: Police have defended the numberless Toyota Hiace vans commonly referred to as “drones” mostly used security personnel in covert operations saying they don’t have number platers because they usually ‘fall off’.
There has been a public outcry over a number of arrests and kidnaps done by people moving in such vehicles and their victims are detained in unknown places.
Addressing journalists on Monday, the acting Police Director in charge of Traffic and Road Safety, Lawrence Niwabiine said no vehicle is allowed to move without a number plate but noted some of the plates for drone vehicles usually fall and this explains the recent trend of numberless vehicles.
“Many of these vehicles are new and when they are being imported, they come with very small number plates fixed infront and sometimes they are not fixed in the hind part.At times those small plates fall off and you see them on the highway,”Niwabiine said in response to a question from journalists about the drone vehicles.
The acting police director noted that it is not true that the drone vehicles are used by security but noted that most of them come from car bonds .
“No wonder many of your complaints refer to the highways where these drones are seen. When they reach the city centre they move to different bonds and when they go to those bonds you think some of them are security vehicles yet not true.
According to Niwabiine, vehicles without number plates are not allowed on the road, adding that on many occasions, the issue is blown out of proportion, mostly by the media.
“First ascertain(why the vehicle is numberless) because the owner cant carry it to the licencing authority for a new number plate.”
Nuwabiine insisted that police will soon start a crackdown on numberless vehicles on Ugandan roads.
The development comes at a time when a number of Ugandans have been kidnapped by men travelling in numerberless drones and detained in unknown places raising concern among the public.
President Museveni on Saturday said no Ugandan is missing but were rather arrested by security for being involved in some crimes.