A mob stormed Makindye court protesting the appearance of the Inspector General of Police
PIC: A supporter holds a placard with pro-Kayihura statements
The Minister of Internal Affairs, Gen. Jeje Odongo, condemned and regretted last week’s incident where a gathering frustrated the operations at the Makindye Chief Magistrate’s court.
Odongo said the ministry does not condone or support unlawful demonstrations, processions or gatherings.
“The ministry regrets the unfortunate incident at the Makindye Chief Magistrate’s courts on August 10 and condemns the gatherings as an interference with the Constitutional duty of the courts and judicial officers and an unlawful limitation on the enjoyment of the rights and freedoms of others under article 43 of the Constitution,” Gen. Odongo said.
Addressing the press in Kampala, the minister also said Government did not condone or support the unlawful use of force against civilians maintaining that the role of the Uganda Police Force was, “to protect life and property, to preserve law and order, to prevent and detect crime and to cooperate with civilian authority and the population generally.
The minister was reacting to last week’s public condemnation of Government after a mob stormed Makindye court protesting the appearance of Inspector General of Police Gen. Kale Kayihura together with nine other officers to answer charges of torture against civilians.
Kayihura and his officers were expected in court following criminal summons were issued for them to appear on torture charges following the brutal beating opposition supporters last month.
Gen. Odongo said the Police Standards Unit in accordance with the Police Act had investigated the incidents relating to the brutality by officers of the Force and established that some of the officers were involved in the professional misconduct.
He said that Kayihura referred the matter to the Police Disciplinary Courts established under sections 52 and 53 of the Police Act for appropriate action and the hearings were ongoing.
“Whereas we acknowledge these incidents, they must be distinguished from the core institution of the Police whose primary role is to protect the lives of the people of Uganda, and which role they have hitherto been executing professionally,” Odongo said.
He appealed to members of the public to place a dividing line between the Inspector General of Police who is an individual and the institution, highlighting both as two distinct entities.
Gen. Odongo called upon the general public to help participate in cooperation with and building of the Police and be wary of forces that are bent on weakening the very strong institution.
“Is he being charged as an individual or as an institution?” Gen Odongo asked.
He stressed that Kayihura and the other officers were performing a Constitutional duty while in office.
Odong said Government had taken note of similar incidents in the past and would take measures so that they are not repeated.
He said that former Kampala Central Police Station boss, ASP Aaron Baguma would be taken to court and charged accordingly and that the matter is before the Directorate of Public Prosecution.
“I can state categorically he (Baguma) will appear in court and be charged accordingly,” the minister assured.