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Top Police officers to appear in court over Zaake torture

By Stuart Yiga

Added 4th August 2020 07:31 AM

According to the summons, the officers are expected to appear before Mityana Magistrate’s Court tomorrow at 10:0am.

Top Police officers to appear in court over Zaake torture

Zaake being taken to hospital. Photo by Stuart Yiga

According to the summons, the officers are expected to appear before Mityana Magistrate’s Court tomorrow at 10:0am.

Six top Police officers alleged to have tortured the Mityana Municipality Member of Parliament, Francis Zaake, are expected to appear in court tomorrow. 

On April 19, 2020, Zaake was arrested from Buswabulongo in Mityana after he was found distributing food relief to residents without observing the social distancing, contrary to the presidential directive that banned the same for fear of spreading the deadly COVID-19.

The Police officers summoned include Elly Womanya, the commandant of the Kireka-based Special Investigations Division, Isaac Oketcho, Bob Kagarura, the Wamala Regional Police Commander, Musa Walugembe, Hamdan Twesigye and Alex Mwine.

According to the summons, the officers are expected to appear before Mityana Magistrate's Court today at 10:0am.

"You are hereby commanded by the Uganda government to appear in this court on August 5, 2020 without fail," the court summons read in part.

Prosecution alleges that between April 20 and April 22, 2020 the accused inflicted severe physical and mental pain on Zaake contrary to Sections 2 and 4 of the Prevention and Prohibition of Torture Act 2012.

In his affidavit in a civil suit he filed before the High Court in Kampala, the legislator said the mentioned officers fastened a rope and chain onto metallic seats above him on a patrol vehicle and suspended his body above the metallic floor as he dangled below the seats.

"After suspending me below the police trucks behind seats, the officers drove me at a very high speed. Whenever we hit humps or potholes, my body would swing violently and hit the sides of the metallic surroundings. I eventually became numb in my legs and hands as a result of the unbearable pain," Zaake he said.

The charge sheet indicates the officers carried out the alleged torture through systematic beatings, slapping, flogging, kicking and punching on different parts of the body on top of keeping him incommunicado in their cells.

The charge sheet further alleges that while arresting and transferring the legislator from his home in Mityana to Mityana Police Station and later Special Investigations Division, he was subjected to spraying with pepper, slapping, beating, kicking and punches.

The Police Spokesperson, Fred Enanga, told New Vision that the force is a law abiding institution, therefore, their officers shall appear as court ordered them and answer to the charges leveled against them accordingly.

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