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40 more senior cops sent for training course

By Simon Masaba

Added 5th August 2016 07:15 AM

The officers are accused of having applied excessive force in the line of duty

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Former regional Police commander Andrew Kaggwa (R) and his co-accused.

Two Kampala Metropolitan Police commanders facing the disciplinary tribunal for allegedly whipping supporters of former Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) presidential candidate Dr. Kizza Besigye, have been sent for training.

The officers, Andrew Kaggwa, formerly regional Police commander South and Moses Nanoka, the then Wandegeya Police station boss, are among the 40 cops sent to the Senior Command and Staff Course at the force’s college in Bwebajja in Wakiso district.

So far, the Police’s disciplinary tribunal hearing the case has viewed footage showing Police officers beating Besigye’s supporters.

The footage was presented as evidence when the first witness, the commandant of the Police Professional Standard Unit (PSU), Fortunate Habyara, testified against the accused.

“The officers are accused of having applied excessive force in the line of duty,” the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Gen. Kale Kayihura, said. They all pleaded not guilty.

Victims of the uniformed policemen had gathered along the streets as they cheered on and waved at Besigye as he headed to his home in Kasangati, Wakiso district, from the FDC headquarters in Najjanankumbi on Entebbe Road.

Others caught in the fracas were pedestrians and cyclists using the same routes.

A day after, Kayihura said the Police command had authorised the beating that has been widely criticised as brutal and exposing citizens to inhuman and degrading treatment.

“The use of teargas, rubber bullets and of course bullets has been eliminated. The only options remaining for the commanders are the use of water cannons or baton charge,” Kayihura told journalists at the Police headquarters.

He also alleged that some of the victims hurled stones at Police, prompting the beating. Police has since pledged to investigate the beatings.

The decision to take Police officers to court comes as Government officials, civil society and the opposition mount pressure on the Police management to take action against its officers.

In the communication, announced Thursday, the director human resource management, Moses Balimwoyo, said the joining instructions for the course should be picked from the department before August 12.

“The officers should arrange to handover with a detailed report to the next officer in command immediately but not later than August 12,” Balimwoyo said.

The embattled Aaron Baguma, formerly commandant of the Central Police Station, linked to series of cases in Kampala was also nominated to attend the training that will commence on August 27, at the staff college.

The officers will be trained by officers from the Uganda People’s Defence Forces, Makerere University and the United Nations University for Peace during the one year course that will focus on command, leadership and supervisory skills.

The staff college is headed by former Kampala Metropolitan Police commander, Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIGP) Abbas Byakagaba.

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