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7 Policemen among 13 arrested over botched Wakiso eviction

By Simon Masaba

Added 20th July 2016 08:50 AM

Kampala Metropolitan Police commander Abbas Byakagaba ordered the arrest of the officers.

7 Policemen among 13 arrested over botched Wakiso eviction

Kampala Metropolitan Police commander Abbas Byakagaba ordered the arrest of the officers.

Police haave arrested 13 suspects, including seven cops, who purportedly robbed and damaged property worth millions, before leaving four families homeless in Kajjansi, Wakiso district.

According to Police, the cops participated in the eviction exercise, which is against their code of conduct as Policemen, who are meant to "Protect and Serve".

Kampala Metropolitan Police commander Abbas Byakagaba ordered the arrest of the officers.

The cops include Kajjansi Police commander, Franklin Kiconco, his criminal investigations officer, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Richard Mwijukye, and the area officer-in-charge of station Philimon Ameru and five other Field Force officers, whose identities were not readily revealed.

The other suspects are; Ivan Mugerwa, 28, a carpenter and Ronald Kasozi, a businessman both residents of Namasuba, Isaac Kitimbo, 26, a resident of Zana and Fred Mawejje, 28, a resident of Nansana, both court bailiffs and David Semanda, 30, a court broker and resident of Masanafu in Wakiso district.

All suspects were held over robbery and causing malicious damage to property and were still being held at Katwe Police station by press time, pending on-going investigations.

While addressing the press on Monday at the Kampala Central Police Station, deputy police spokesperson, Patrick Onyango, said court bailiffs went to Nalubudde Kajjansi on Monday, and destroyed one acre of Banana plantation plus four houses.

According to Onyango, It was as a result of a one David Katumba obtaining a court order for vacant possession of one acre of land which he had bought from one Rose Naganda.

Naganda sold land which had squatters to Katumba. Although Katumba got the court order which was cleared from Police headquarters, Kampala Metropolitan Police and the Regional Kampala Metropolitan Police South, the guidelines to the DPC Kajjansi which he had to follow before effecting the order were very clear.

"Deployed Police officers are tasked only to witness, keep law and order and should not in any way participate in the exercise.

The Police should ensure the execution is carried out peacefully and that should they turn violent be called off or halted for further consultations. However the cops acted to the contrary," Onyango said.  

"We have arrested the officers who participated in the exercise. We also recorded statements from people who were beaten, lost money and their property destroyed" Onyango said of the failure to adhere to the guidelines.

"During an eviction the DPC is not supposed to delegate but must oversee the exercise. In this situation, the DPC delegated the role to his juniors, which is unacceptable, prompting an investigation" he added.

Since its first sitting a fortnight ago, the three-member Police disciplinary court, under Professional Standards Unit (PSU), chaired by senior Commissioner of Police Denis Odongpiny has charged 75 Police officers and one crime preventer over cases ranging from absconding from duty, extortion to assault. 

Odongpiny is assisted by Commissioner of Police Herman Owomugisha and Senior Superintendent of Police Susan Kasingye.

By press time, efforts to speak to the homeless were futile as Police was recording their statements.

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