The reported disappearance of evidence in regard to the murder of the late AIGP Felix Kaweesi should ring bells of more criminals in the Police force despite IGP Ochola’s effort to clean it
By Ssemanda Allawi
In the past, I have argued that the view that criminals invaded our police force is a Black Swan. With the recent trial of renegade Muhamed Kirumira on cases among others eating a suspect's chapatti and later convicting him only of parading suspects before media and public, one can say that the new Inspector General of Police (IGP) Okoth Ochola became a text example of a Black Swan event to Police and IGP. Many Ugandans welcomes Ochola as a redeemer of Police that Ugandans had lost trust and hope in.
The trouble is that we cannot easily tell how many blind spots lay a head as the man in charge of the force continues to clean the force. Prof. Nassim Nicholas Talib taught us that black swan are events that overturn the established ways of thinking and norms. The tricky part is that we can only understand them long after they have occurred and in most cases leaving behind disastrous effects.
If a few criminals had made our Police a black swan force full of surprise like officers working with criminals to terrorise citizens, with the conviction of renegade Kirumira on a case of parading suspects before public and media which many other officers had made a police norm, then we need to ask a little more hard questions.
In Greek Mythology, we learn that Lady justice is blind. This means that blindness is part of justice! Justice is spontaneous, it does not have a pattern and it is unpredictable. However, before Kirumira was aligned in court, the Police spokesperson sounded a warning that Kirumira would face it for going against Police norms. It looked like he already knew the renegade officer would lose the case! Again, the Police was not willing to have press people during the Kirumira trial, which Kirumira may use to convince his sympathisers that, as Greek mythology teaches, lady justice is blind, even police court is blind to justice, maybe he can add that, ‘that is why they wanted me tried without presence of media'.
While it is good to ‘tame' renegade Kirumira to ensure he does not ‘infect' other officers with his "holiness", Kirumira is a darling to the public who were suffering as criminals terrorised them, at least in areas of Nansana and Old Kampala, where he headed the Police, they call him ‘our man'. He is the only man who has dared to speak what many, including senior officers fear to say. Actually, many junior officers pray for him, he seems to speak there from their minds and hearts.
The reported disappearance of evidence in regard to the murder of the late AIGP Felix Kaweesi should ring bells of more criminals in the Police force despite IGP Ochola's effort to clean it. This development gives him Kirumira sympathy from public's court despite losing the case before Police's disciplinary court.
He has consistently claimed that he is being tried for speaking about criminals in the force and that he cannot get justice since the officers of the court that tried him were appointed by former the IGP. One may ask that if there are no criminals in the force, who stole the evidence in murder of Kaweesi?
Since black swan events can happen and take long to be realised, I will send a humble and unsolicited advice to the IGP in form of a story of a Christian and his encounter with a mad man. The Christian and the mad man lived in the same village and their bathrooms were outside the house. One day, the man of God decided to shower. While in the bathroom, he took off his clothes and hanged them against the bathroom wall. As fate would have it, the madman was passing by; he saw the clothes, tiptoed and took them all. Furious about the mad man's act, the Christian moved outside the bathroom naked and started chasing the mad man. People who gathered wondered, "We know our village mad man, but who is that other mad man chasing our mad man?" The public thought all men were mad as there was no difference between the two.
Put differently, Afande Ochola sir, one of these days, a mad man may come in your home when you are taking a shower and he may decide to take your clothes. Your heart may tell you to chase him right away to get back your clothes and discipline him, but sir, my humble plea is, don't chase one mad man. He has nothing to lose, but if you decide to chase him, you will have lost your time for greater things like removing bean ‘weevils' from the force and may consequently fall down flat!
Sir, you have all the powers to do it, diplomatically, covertly or overtly, leave renegade Kirumira, your focus should be on how to discipline the force not one man, we can still recover the said lost evidence of Kawesi's murder by prosecuting those in charge than prosecuting those who simply paraded criminals to Ugandans.
Going by Murphy's Law, anything that can go wrong will go wrong. This can explain why if your smart phone falls to the ground, it always falls with the screen facing down. Probably this explains why most of our smart phones screens are broken. Put differently, this may explain why even when the renegade Kirumira was out of work, the exhibits in Kaweesis murder were stolen a clear proof that there are still criminals in the force as he asserts.
The writer is a PhD student of international relations and diplomatic studies