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Police brutality: Officers deny beating people

By Andrew Ssenyonga, Faith Amongin

Added 7th September 2016 11:50 AM

The other eight appeared to the tribunal but kick started their defence saying that they were not ready

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Former Wandegeya DPC Moses Kanoba (L) and Robert Wandera arrive at the Police Tribunal Court at Naguru. Photo by Peter Busomoke

The other eight appeared to the tribunal but kick started their defence saying that they were not ready

Two of the ten Police officers accused of brutality on Tuesday started their defence, denying their participation in the beating of the people.

Former Wandegeya Division Police commander Moses Nanoka told court that he was only maintaining law and order by calming the crowd along the road as he moved in and out of the Police vehicle.

"I kept on moving in and out of the vehicle to ensure smooth traffic flow as we escort Besigye to his home. I did not beat, authorize or see any officer beating up people. I was in the crowd ensuring law and order and I only got to learn about the beatings from the media," he said.

He added that he was ensuring that there was no life lost, no property destroyed and smooth flow of businesses right from the High Court to Kasangati in Wakiso district.

Robert Wanzala, a Police constable attached to Central Police Station, Kampala admitted holding a stick together with some colleagues which they used to scare away the unruly crowd.

"I did not beat any one; I only used the stick to scare away the rowdy crowd as a makeshift Police baton. We were given the sticks by Kampala Metropolitan Police commander James Ruhweza with instructions of scaring people away to maintain law and order but I didn't beat anyone" he said.

The other eight including Katwe Division Field Operations commander, Patrick Muhumuza, Kampala Metropolitan Police Field Force commander, Samuel Bamuzibire, and Kampala Metropolitan Police South commander, Andrew Kaggwa, Willy Kalyango, Sula Kato, Deneth Muhangi, Moses Agaba and Dan Tandeka also appeared to the tribunal but kick started their defence saying that they were not ready.

anoba  and obert andera in the dock  hoto by eter usomoke Kanoba (R) and Robert Wandera in the dock. Photo by Peter Busomoke

 

They asked for more time which court has granted them to prepare their defence.

The ten Police officers are facing charges of unlawful exercise of authority, discreditable or irregular conduct and neglect of duty contrary to the Police Act.

They were deemed to have applied excessive force in their line of duty. They however pleaded not guilty to charges.

The prosecution presented four witnesses including some senior Police commanders who all pinned the officers on the offences.

The witnesses included the commandant of the Police Professionals Standards Unit (PSU) Fortunate Habyara, Ruhweza, UN committee member on Human Rights Capt. Pollar Awich and an IT specialist.

During the hearing, prosecution led by Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Catherine Kusemererwa told court that on July 13, four of the suspects exercised unlawful or unnecessary authority when they beat up Besigye's supporters using unnecessary force along Entebbe Road and Kalerwe Market.

She said the conduct of the suspects discredited the reputation of Uganda Police Force.

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