Kayihura revokes Lwakataka gun licence

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KAMPALA- The Inspector General of Police (IGP), Gen Kale Kayihura, has revoked a firearm certificate the Ministry of Internal Affairs granted to Mr Ponsiano Lwakataka and ordered for the recovery of his firearm following his running battles with police and Uganda Revenue Authority enforcement officers in Sheema District last Friday.

Mr Lwakataka is alleged to have drawn a licensed gun at URA officials as he resisted arrest after he was allegedly found ferrying immature fish in a truck enroute Democratic Republic of Congo.

Prime suspect
Police spokesman, Mr Andrew Kaweesi, said, “Lwakataka remains a prime suspect and he will be re-arrested and charged with smuggling immature fish and threatening violence with a firearm.

Consequently, Lwakataka’s private firearm certificate has been revoked”.

The Firearm Act, 1970, gives the IGP powers to revoke a firearm certificate and withdraw a licensed firearm from anyone without giving any reasons.

This is the second time Mr Lwakataka is being accused of using a licensed gun against law enforcers trying to stop his vehicle carrying immature fish after the Kasese District case.

It is not clear how Mr Lwakataka was allowed to retain a firearm certificate and gun given his previous allegations of gun misuse.

According to the Firearm Act 1970, a firearm certificate is only given to an applicant who does not have a criminal record or incident of gun misuse.

Mr Lwakataka is among the 3,000 civilians owning firearms in the country.

He was also accused of pointing a gun at a driver hired by URA to drive the impounded fish-loaded truck back to Mbarara Town last Friday.
Mr Lwakataka is alleged to have forced the driver out and personally driven away the truck with URA and police mounting a chase until he was apprehended in the dusty village roads.

Gen Kayihura also ordered the arrest of Sheema District Police commander, Mr Innocent Mubangizi, who is said to have released Lwakataka after he was arrested and detained at his station by URA officials.

Mr Mubangizi was arrested yesterday pending transfer to Kampala where his case will be heard in the police disciplinary court.

It is alleged that Mr Mubangizi received orders from his superiors at the regional level to release Mr Lwakataka.

Questionable release
In July 2014, Mr Lwakataka was released in a questionable circumstance at a police station after a shootout with army and fisheries officers when they attempted to intercept his truck that was carrying immature fish in Kasese District.
He escaped but was later re-arrested and charged in court.

Kasese court jailed two of his workers to six months for dealing in immature fish.
The court also ordered Lwakataka’s trucks that carried the said premature fish to be auctioned for dealing in illegal business.

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