By Robert Segawa
Opposition Forum for Democratic Change says president Museveni should institute a commission of inquiry to investigate former Inspector General of police Gen Kale Kayihura for the last 13 years he has been at the helm of police management.
Ibrahim Semujju Nganda, the FDC spokesperson while addressing the media at party headquarters said the commission should be headed by a competent judge in order to probe crimes committed by Gen Kayihura during his tenure. Semujju noted that many people have been tortured, killed and others were wrongly detained thus need to be given a chance to explain themselves and pin him.
He added that Kayihura has been handling police office as a ruling party NRM cadre and commissioned arrest and torture and arrest of opposition members .
The party now wants Kayihura to be charged with all cases he committed while in office including intimidation, arbitrary arrests of opposition members during their peaceful demonstrations. Ssemujju also wants all the victims to be compensated by government over the sins of Gen Kayihura.
The Uganda Police Force has taken over the defense of its Inspector General Kale Kayihura who faces criminal charges of torture as an individual.
Makindye Chief Magistrates Court last week summoned General Kayihura and seven other senior police commanders to appear in court to answer charges of torture and inhuman treatment.
The move by court is in connection with the recent beating of former presidential candidate Dr Kizza Besigye’s supporters in Kampala.
Despite the officers being charged as individuals in line with the provisions of the Anti-torture Act, police management says it will use its Legal and Human Rights Directorate to defend their actions in court.
Police spokesperson Fred Enanga says the force is still waiting to receive summons from the complainant’s lawyer to begin preparing defence for the officers charged. “Even if they are charged individually, we will be defending them because all of them including the IGP were acting on behalf of the police,” Enanga says.
According to the criminal summons signed off by Chief Magistrate Richard Mafabi, the police chief and the other officers are “commanded by the Uganda government to appear in this court on the 10th day of August 2016 at 10am or soon thereafter as the case can be heard.”
Some of the officers facing torture charges include three commanders who are currently on suspension. They include Andrew Kaggwa who until the suspension was Kampala South Regional commander and Samuel Bamuziibire, the suspended Kampala Metropolitan Field Force Unit commander.
Others are Patrick Muhumuza, operations commander of Field Force Unit – Kampala Metropolitan South who is also on suspension Moses Nanoka who was suspended as Wandegeya Division police commander. Also on the list are James Ruhweza who is head of operations, Kampala Metropolitan, Wesley Nganizi, Regional police commander, Kampala North, and Geoffrey Kaheebwa, Deputy Regional Police Commander, Kampala South.
Most of these commanders who the police Director Human Rights Erasmus Twaruhukwa will be defending are already undergoing prosecution in the Police disciplinary court.
The officers are charged with offense of torture contrary to sections 4, 7, 8, 9 and 10 of the Prevention and Prohibition of Torture Act, 2012.
The private lawyers behind this case allege that Kayihura and his officers, being superior officers of the Uganda Police Force, in various places in and around Kampala, are liable for the acts of torture committed against supporters of Dr Besigye.
Lawyers identify the victims as Joseph Kaddu, Andrew Ssebitosi, Rogers Ddiba and other members of the general public including boda-boda riders.
The officers are also facing a civil suit by two victims of the alleged torture. The two victims, Ronald Muhereza and Michael Nyesiga, are seeking compensation of 50 million shillings each for torture, loss of their motorbikes, work and being humiliated.
The Inspector General of Police Kale Kayihura has with immediate effect suspended four commanders who were recently charged for beating up Dr. Kizza Besigye’s supporters.
The suspended officers include the Regional Police Commander Kampala Metropolitan Police South Andrew Kaggwa, Kampala Metropolitan Police Operations Commander Samuel Bamuzibire, Katwe police Operations Commander Patrick Muhumuza and Wandegeya Division Police Commander Moses Nanoka.
Kaggwa has been replaced by his deputy Godfrey Kahebwa while Nanoka is replaced with Joseph Nsabimana who has been the officer in charge of Nateete Police Station. Bamuzibire and ASP Muhumuza’s replacements have yet to be appointed.
Christopher Aine, the former aide of ex-prime Minister, Amama Mbabazi is still in the custody of General Salim Saleh five days since appearing from his hideout in Tanzania.
Aine went into hiding after he was arraigned in Jinja Magistrate’s court for assaulting Edgar Nyabong, the Kiira Regional Police Commander and his involvement in clashes between National Resistance Movement party supporters and those of Mbabazi in Ntungamo district during presidential election campaigns.
However, since his return, Aine has remained in the custody of General Salim Saleh. Police spokesperson, Fred Enanga, says the issues of Aine are being handled at a political level. According to Enanga, shortly after his return, Aine told Saleh that his life was in danger, which forced him to seek audience with General Kale Kayihura, the Inspector General of Police.
However, URN has learnt that Kayihura and Saleh have failed to agree on the way forward in regard to Aine. According to a source, Kayihura blames Saleh for the bad press the police force has been receiving in relation to the Aine’s case given the fact that he was aware of the whereabouts of the suspect but failed to communicate and has refused to hand him over.
“Kayihura wants Aine to be handed over but Saleh has refused. He feels his position as IGP is being undermined,” the source told URN on condition of anonymity. Enanga told URN that Kayihura has written to the Attorney General seeking his opinion on the matter and how it should be resolved.
In December 2015, Kayihura announced a cash bounty of Shillings 20 million for whoever will provide information leading to Aine’s arrest. However, police has since cancelled the bounty on grounds that Aine surrendered to General Saleh at his home in Munyonyo, a Kampala suburb.