Activists demand officers at Nalufenya account for their actions

A section of Ugandans has tasked the Uganda Police to account for the actions of its errant officers who tortured suspects at Nalufenya Detention Facility over the years.

Located in Jinja district, Nalufenya Police post had been transformed into a Special Investigations Centre of police by the former Inspector General of Police Kale Kayihura.

At the facility, all suspects, who were treated as hardcore criminals, were detained. But its image changed as persons who were detained there came out with aching tales of torture, human rights violations as well as inhumane and degrading treatment.

The facility was at the centre of controversy after gruesome pictures of Kamwenge Mayor Geoffrey Byabakama emerged showing marks of torture all over his body. Byamukama, one of the people suspected of killing former Police spokesperson Andrew Felix Kaweesi, had been severely beaten on the knees and ankles and could barely walk when his pictures first came to the public domain.

Such actions, coupled with public outcry, prompted the re-designation of Nalufenya Special detention facility into a police station by the Inspector General of Police Martin Okoth Ochola.

But Imam Idi Kasozi, a renowned analyst says closing Nalufenya or reverting its status to the police station is not exciting.  He says Police needs to take responsibility and account for its ugly actions at the facility instead of covering them up with a change in status.

Jomeo Richard, a Kampala based activist says the closure or transformation of Nalufenya restores hope for Ugandans. He says the government needs to do much more to eliminate torture, especially within the security forces.  Jomeo also called for those who were in charge of torture at Nalufenya to be made to account.

Anthony Nuwaijuka, a Bodaboda rider says Nalufenya had lost its place but says this new move to turn Nalufenya into a police station will change the image of the police.

Meanwhile, Kitagwenda County MP Abas Agaba says that Nalufenya as a facility was not the problem, but the actions of the police officers in charge of the facility adding that torture should never be tolerated in any part of the country.