KAMPALA, UGANDA: Police has suspended eleven of its officers over the brutal arrest and torture of Buvuma district Woman MP, Susan Nakaziba Mugabi and several other National Unity Platform supporters.
The suspended officers have been identified as SP Kanyesigye Jamal the D/RPC, SP Bagoole Michael – DPC Buvuma, AIP Odeke Francis, CPL Wamanga David, PC Obalim, PC Turyahebwa Akim, PC Ahamize Brave, PC Olari Albert John, PC Egwel Peter Aggrey, PC Kabaheka Benson, PC Makomeli Emma Kevin.
The officers are accused of brutally arresting the female activists who had gathered to celebrate the district’s belated Women’s Day Celebrations organized by the Hon Suzan Mugabi at Kyanja village, Bweema sub-county in Buvuma district last week on Wednesday, April 19, 2023.
The MP, together with a section of several female NUP supporters sustained several injuries and were admitted to hospital, prompting the party principal Mr Robert Kyagulanyi to condemn security over the manner in which the group was manhandled.
In his weekly address to journalists on Monday, police spokesperson SCP Fred Enanga confirmed the update and said the Inspector General of Police John Martins Okoth Ochola directed the suspension of the 11 senior police officers and instructed the Professional Standards Unit to investigate them further soon as he learnt of the inhuman incident.
“During the enforcement of that unlawful assembly, there are disturbing images that went viral that captured some of our officers using excessive force during the arrest of some of the suspects. The Inspector General of Police has instructed the Professional Standards Unit to open an investigation into the alleged beating and torture of the Buvuma Woman MP and some of her supporters,” Enanga said.
“As soon as the video came to the attention of the IGP, he immediately ordered the PSU to institute inquiries and ensure officers who committed acts of violence are held accountable,” Enanga added.
He however accused the Buvuma Woman MP of defying security guidelines when she went ahead to hold the belated women’s day celebration, saying that before the event, there were disagreements involving two teams with one led by Buvuma district women council chairperson, Betty Nakyobe and the other led by the Woman MP Buvuma
“Security wanted that they harmonise the arrangements including venue, invitees and who the guest of honour would be. It was against that background that this function was halted but surprisingly, Nakaziba defied the guidance she was given and tried to hold celebrations where she was blocked for failure to comply with the guidelines,” Enanga said.
“The UPF as an institution continues to stand for the rule of law and will hold anyone accountable, who commits acts of torture,” he added.
Public events by Opposition political parties have over time been targeted by security forces who accuse organisers of acting contrary to the Public Order Management Act.
The most recent incident was on April 14 when chaos erupted in eastern Uganda’s Soroti City after police blocked another belated Women’s Day celebration forcing some attendees to strip.
The event had been organized by female opposition FDC party MPs Joan Alobo and Anna Adeke Ebaju.
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