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Uganda: Juniors Officers Cry Over Unfair Punishment Over Police Brutality

Photo: The Observer

Four junior cops and one crime preventer in a police court

Junior cops want senior commanders charged for ordering the beating of Dr Besigye supporters, writes JOHNSON TAREMWA.

The charging in the police disciplinary court docket of best lowly-ranked cops within the beating of Col Kizza Besigye’s supporters in Kampala ultimate week has angered the rank and file within the Drive.

On Monday, 5 junior officers and one crime preventer captured on camera appeared ahead of the court to respond to two counts of illegal or extreme use of authority contrary to the Police Act and discreditable or irregular conduct. They were later released on police bond. The accused are Willy Kalyango, 25, Sula Kato, 43, Kennedy Muhangi, 38, Moses Agaba, 33, Robert Wanjala and Dan Tandeka, 33.

The chairman of the court docket, Denis Odongopiny, read the charges. On conviction, the officers face dismissal from the Force or demotion. Alternatively, the looks in court of most effective lowly-ranked policemen has angered their colleagues who felt their bosses must were arraigned and also charged.

Police chief Kale Kayihura remaining week castigated his senior commanders and ordered an investigation into the habits of five of them. Interestingly, the commanders beneath scrutiny appeared alongside Kayihura all over the July 14 press conference at Naguru.

They incorporated Andrew Kagwa, the regional police commander for Kampala East, James Ruhweza, who heads operations in Kampala Metropolitan; Kampala North regional police commander Correctly Nganizi and his deputy Geoffrey Kahebwa.

Moses Nanoka, the Wandegeya division police commander, was once additionally there. Captain Eric Kagina, the top of investigations in Special Forces Command (SFC), recorded a statement with the Skilled Standards Unit.

However when it got here to courtroom, handiest lowly-ranked officers have been arraigned and charged. Probably The Most cops interviewed after the Naguru courtroom listening to on Monday stated it was once wrong and unfair to punish most effective junior officers.

“I Do Not see the this is why officers were charged since the IGP had praised his commanders for beating FDC supporters and why now cost his juniors in court docket?” one senior police officer stated.

He introduced that Gen Kayihura will have to have shielded the juniors from court as well. “Why do you defend the commanders and charge the juniors but all of them work for a similar Power?” he brought.

He mentioned the commanders who issued the orders, which the juniors adopted, must be held accountable. “The juniors will also be charged for disobeying lawful orders, But no longer enforcing lawful orders,” one officer in the Force’s prison department stated.

“Initially, in police we work on orders and command and those officers who have been charged worked on orders and incase the order is criticized, the one who issued it takes the blame,” the same officer stated.

The officer added that if juniors are punished or charged in court docket for enforcing their bosses’ orders, that suggests they’re telling them to resign from the Drive.

Interviewed rapidly after court docket, one sergeant stated, “Our bosses ordered our colleagues to beat the FDC supporters and they applied the order; why charge them, and not the bosses?”

“We shouldn’t have justice in the Force because if we disobey lawful orders from our superiors, it is a severe offence in the Power and now if we put in force lawful orders from our bosses, we’re additionally charged; so, the place are we secure within the Drive?” every other junior officer stated.

OPPOSITION SPEAKS

Interviewed for a comment the day past, Wafula Oguttu, an FDC legit and former leader of opposition in Parliament, mentioned By Way Of phone: “We expected commanders and Kayihura in court as a result of they issued orders of beating our supporters and now why are they charging the juniors who had been innocent?” he said.

He mentioned the movies the birthday celebration has, express Aaron Baguma, the divisional police commander for Kampala Critical police station, and Andrew Kagwa, the regional police commander for Kampala South, beating individuals but they didn’t appear in court docket.

“If police fears to charge the commanders, we will take them on as people in public courts as a result of we’ve evidence towards them.”

Kayihura got here out strongly closing week to condemn the moves of some officers and shield his commanders after a public outcry in the aftermath of the beatings. Talking during a rapidly-convened press convention Gen Kayihura stated police had opted for batons and water cannons as the tools of choice for dispersing demonstrators as an alternative of tear gasoline, are living and rubber bullets.

Interviewed for a touch upon the charging of best junior officers, Polly Namaye, the deputy spokesperson, said the disciplinary court of police handiest tries officers from the rank of Constable to Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP).

She stated the disciplinary court can’t punish officers on the rank of Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) and above. To Take Action, it must get the nod of approval from the Police Authority, which is headed By Way Of an Assistant Inspector Normal of Police, the 0.33-best possible-rating officer in the Force.

Most Of The police commanders underneath investigation are on the rank of assistant superintendent of police to assistant commissioner, which places them outdoor the jurisdiction of the police courtroom.

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