Civilian Owned Firearms Registrar, Superintendent of Police (SP) Tulibake Mkondya said during a media sensitization workshop on peace and security here. Ms Mkondya said the new organ would be training those applying to possess firearms, saying that legal firearm owners will be undergoing frequent shooting range exercises.
“Policies are being formulated to establish the organ before it is taken to the National Assembly,” she told the workshop which has been organized by the Regional Centre on Small Arms (RECSA). The Director of Criminal Investigations (DCI), Mr Robert Manumba, pointed out that civil wars and conflicts in neighbouring countries has led to proliferation of firearms and increased crimes in the region.
“The government is determined to address the problem by strengthening the firearms’ controller office. We thus need to join hands in order to control the problem,” said Mr Manumba who was the guest of honour. He said the government’s initiatives to address the problem include joint operations with other countries and signing different international declarations on firearms control and that officials are educated on how to control the problem.
Presenting a paper on the status of peace and security in the Great Lakes Region, Mr Peter Macomalla, a peace and security consultant, said the media is a powerful tool and can play a great role in addressing the problem.
Ms Angela Baiya- Wadeyua, RECSA Head of Communications and Public Relations, said since the media is a partner in the search for peace and security in Africa it is important to strengthen their capacity to fully capture relevant information and disseminate it to the public.
“There is power in the media which can be used to influence policies and public opinion. Indeed, they have been known to help prevent and resolve conflicts and in peace building,” she said.
Ms Wadeyua noted that thousands of lives are lost weekly to small arms and light weapons currently and the magnitude of the problem in Africa is immense. “No doubt the easy availability of these weapons has a negative impact on peace and security, in many cases fuelling conflicts and in other incidents full scale wars,” she said.