A group of men who caned opposition leaders on Wednesday in Kampala is not part of the Police, the Inspector General of Police, Maj. Gen. Kale Kayihura, explained yesterday.
Kayihura said the stick-wielding men were not deployed by the Police to stop a demonstration by opposition leaders against the Electoral Commission.
â€œI passed by and wondered what the men were doing there. I do not know why they were allowed to join us. It was wrong to mix them with the Police. It was not necessary to have them there,â€ Kayihura stated.
Men dressed in civilian attire whipped Forum for Democratic Change boss, Col. Kizza Besigye and other Inter-Party Coalition (IPC) officials at the Clock Tower grounds.
The IPC is a loose coalition of the Uganda Peopleâ€™s Congress, the Conservative Party, FDC and Justice Forum.
A journalist, Yusuf Muziransa, was also beaten up and his camera spoilt.
Addressing the press at the police head office in Kampala, Kayihura said the group could have been partly made up of city residents, who detest chaos caused by politicians.
However, he stressed that there was no need for the Kiboko Squad, as it the group is popularly known, to interfere in the work of the Anti-riot Police as their number was adequate.
â€œWe are going to investigate in order to find out who gave them orders. Whoever gave the orders will be held responsible,â€ Kayihura told journalists.
He dismissed the existence of a kiboko (cane) squad to quell riots in the city. The term was coined after a gang of men viciously caned people in last yearâ€™s city riots.
The Police chief said the IPC did not seek permission to hold political activities in the city as the law stipulates, hence the blockage of their rally.
Besides, Kayihura said, the Police had received information that the opposition leaders planned to attack the Electoral Commission (EC) offices and centers where registration of voters is going on.
â€œNo country would allow a state of chaos to thrive. There is no problem if someone wants to express their feelings but it should be done through the law,â€ he stressed.
According to Kayihura, even after the blockage, IPC was still planning to attack their targets and block traffic flow in Kampala.
The Police yesterday beefed up security around the EC offices.
The IPC argue that the current EC leadership cannot organise a free and fair election and should, therefore, be disbanded.
Police disown Kiboko Squad