“There have been reports linking us to that siege but I would want to set the record straight."
KAMPALA - A mammoth crowd turned up at St. Denis Secondary School in Ggaba, Kampala to celebrate the achievements of the National Crime Preventers movement and also thank the Judiciary for the standing against the people that wanted to fight police leadership.
The crime preventers travelled from each district in the country and were in thousands.
The event started by crime preventers cleaning the Ggaba landing site and thereafter went to the St Dennis main school for the celebration which would later be graced with speeches, entertainment and food.
Speaking at the event, the coordinator of the National Crime Preventers' Forum Blaise Kamugisha denied allegations that his group was among the mob that stormed Makindye Chief Magistrate’s court on August 10 to protest against the prosecution Police Chief, Gen. Kale Kayihura and seven other police officers over the beating of supporters of FDC politician Kizza Besigye in Kampala last month.
“There have been reports linking us to that siege but I would want to set the record straight. We were not the ones who laid a siege at the court because if we were the ones we could have done it in a much better way and our crowds would have literally paralysed activities in the area,” Kamugisha said.
Blaise Kamugisha (orange pants) led his team from a cleaning exercise
Kamugisha said the celebrations, which were to mark the third anniversary of the formation of the crime preventers, were code-named “the people’s power” and aimed at sending a message to all detractors of Gen. Kayihura.
He lashed out at what he called "the mafia" whom he said wanted to use the judiciary to bring down strong and committed Government workers.
Kamugisha described Gen. Kayihura as a committed security officer whose only crime is serving his country diligently.
Amidst cheers from the crowd, Kamugisha thanked President Yoweri Museveni and the judiciary for the support they had offered. He said they were happy for the decision taken by the Constitutional Court to issue an interim order blocking the prosecution of Gen. Kayihura together with seven other officers pending the determination of the main suit challenging their prosecution.
At the main venue at Ggaba SS, groups of crime preventers held placards praising President Yoweri Museveni for standing with Kayihura. They also commended the judiciary for what they said was a wise ruling following an application by the head of the youth desk at the NRM National Secretariat Robert Rutaro.
Kamugisha said that they were committed to ensuring that the team fights poverty and they would empower the crime preventers throughout the country to ensure they are economically empowered and transformed. He described the crime preventers movement as an "operation of economic freedom in our lifetime".
The young leader said every generation has a calling, and the calling of this particular generation was to "protect what our forefathers and fathers put in place".
“This is an extension of the 1981-1986 revolution war. We are the anti-economic slavery movement. We organize our members and help them engage in production through which we create employment ourselves and once we are employed then we have automatically answered the question of crime which is usually as a result of unemployment."
Crime preventers, led by their national coordinator Blaise, then took the oath of allegiance and vowed to defend the crime prevention movement at whatever cost until death takes them away.
"I...................... solemnly swear that I shall defend the Crime Prevention movement, defend my family, my community, my country............
So help God/Allah" read the oath.
There was entertainment to light up the well-attended event
Robert Rutaro of Messes’ Candia & D.W. Oundo Advocates, petitioned the Constitutional Court seeking orders halting the prosecution of Gen Kayihura and other senior police officers who were summoned to appear before the Makindye Chief Magistrate court on August 10 2016.
He said the trial of Kayihura together with other police officers contravened the 1995 Constitution in as far as they were not given a right to a fair hearing and that Court should render the prosecution null and void.
The petition follows a July 21 Makindye Court criminal summon issued against the officers who were being charged in court.
The private criminal proceedings were instituted by two law firms Lukwago & Co Advocates and Namugali & Walyemera Co Advocates.
During the initial hearing at the Makindye Court on August 10, the DPP applied to be allowed to take over the case but the magistrate declined, asking him to make a formal application to the court.
The DPP then decided to petition the High Court to be allowed to take over the prosecution of the matter. Justice Joseph Mulangira ruled that it should be the DPP to prosecute Kayihura and the seven other senior police commanders and not the private lawyers.