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Police brutality: Officers say Besigye wanted to block Entebbe Road

By Andrew Ssenyonga

Added 15th September 2016 05:59 PM

The tribunal chaired by Denis Odongpiny adjourned the hearing before the remaining six suspects registered their defence

Police brutality: Officers say Besigye wanted to block Entebbe Road

The tribunal chaired by Denis Odongpiny adjourned the hearing before the remaining six suspects registered their defence

Eight of the ten Police officers accused of brutality have said that former presidential candidate Dr. Kizza Besigye and his supporters wanted to block Entebbe Road in order to topple the regime.

Appearing before the Police Disciplinary Tribunal at the force'ss headquarters in Naguru on Wednesday, the former Kampala Metropolitan Police South commander, Andrew Kaggwa, said the former Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) flag bearer had summoned his supporters for their next move in the defiance campaign.

"Earlier before the Najjanankumbi incident, Besigye was heard on various media urging supporters to convene at the offices for the next action plan on defiance," he said.

He added that because Besigye was on treason charges he couldn't risk letting people spill to Entebbe Road and block it.

"Court should remember that during the swearing in of the President in 2011 Besigye and his supporters blocked that same road and mortified the country before international dignitaries and community" he said.

Kaggwa also told the tribunal that they used proportional force to disperse the crowd in order to prevent a spill over on Entebbe Road.

"In the fear of cutting off Entebbe Road, we were obliged to use reasonable force that could not injure anyone at the scene to disband the rowdy crowd that was charging at us," he said.

Kampala Metropolitan Police Field Force commander, Samuel Bamuzibire, told that tribunal that he received a telephone call from a civilian that a mob was planning to cut off Kibuye Junction.

"We immediately went to the spot to seal off the place so that we can prevent the protesters from blocking the road," he said.

He however blamed Police for the introduction of the baton charge strategy of dispersing rioters saying that it was risky.

"The baton charge has more disadvantages compared to teargas. It risks lives of Police officers because they come into contact with the enemy," he said.  

The tribunal chaired by Denis Odongpiny adjourned the hearing before the remaining six suspects registered their defence.

These include Katwe Division Field Operations commander, Patrick Muhumuza, Willy Kalyango, Sula Kato, Deneth Muhangi, Moses Agaba and Dan Tandeka.

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 the charges.

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

The witnesses included the commandant of the 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 13th, 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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