>> In February, Juma Ensarko got the call no father wants to receive. His two five year old daughters had been kidnapped from their home in Uganda's Luero district. Such kidnappings for ransom are an increasing threat in this East African country, and what is also rising is public anger.
But a police force some say is more focused on keeping the country's president in power than tackling crime.>>
> I was so devastated, and spent the whole time in tears, because the police didn't care about my situation. In Juma's case, his children were returned safely, not through police work, but the media.
A hotel manager alerted the authorities after two children pointed at a news bulletin about the kidnapping, and said the woman crying on screen was their mother. Unpublished police statistics seen by Reuters show eight recorded kidnappings in the first two months of this year. That compares with 24 across the whole of 2017, and just 3 in 2014.
But the police deny they're not doing their job properly.>> For the public, yes may point fingers, they may accuse, what we are focusing on is to find the criminals, because the crime was committed.>> Uganda's opposition accuses the police of serving President Yoweri Museveni rather than protecting the people.
The movements of opposition leader Kizza Besigye have regularly been impeded by trucks of heavily armed officers.>> Arrest me for what?>> And in October, two people were killed when police broke up one of his rallies. Museveni, who has ruled Uganda for 31 years, signed in January a law that scraps an age cap for the presidency, allowing him to run for re-election in 2021.
Analysts say that demonstrates his strong grip on power, even as public anger grows over corruption, poor social services, and now, crime.