By K. BESIGYE
You remember Mr Kayihura (Uganda’s Inspector General of Police) on TV screens defending the brutality of his officers & men and owning up to having ordered their actions?
I am referring to the nasty incidents that shocked our country, shortly after I’d been granted bail by High Court in the treason case. Police officers were on rampage, clobbering and truncheoning innocent bystanders, who were happily waving at our vehicles as we made our way home to Kasangati and to our offices in Najjanankumbi, in full view of media cameras.
Following the great public outcry and condemnation, re-enforced by similar concern and outrage in our region and the international community, the Uganda Police launched an internal inquiry.
A number of people were eventually apprehended and charged before a police disciplinary court. Today, the court made their verdict known. Andrew Kagwa SSP, demoted to SP; Moses Nanok SP, has been demoted to ASP; while Patrick Muhumuza ASP, has been demoted to IP. Samuel Bamuzibire SSP, was given severe reprimand. All the four were charged with “unnecessary exercise of authority and engaging in events that brought discredit to the reputation of the police force by beating Besigye’s supporters in Najjanankumbi and Kalerwe”.
Police Constables Dan Muhangi, Sula Kato, Willy Kalyango, Robert Wanjala and Moses Agaba were fined a third of their one month salary. Tandeka (a “Crime Preventer”), appearing in civilian clothing has been recommended for dismissal and barred from associating with police for 20yrs.
Very clearly, these are extremely light punishments considering the pain, injuries (physical & mental) and torture they inflicted on innocent Ugandans that pay and maintain them, believing that they’ll protect them.
Beyond the direct suffering inflicted on their victims, the whole country was cast in terrible light by the actions of these “police officers & men”.
No reasonable person that saw the horrific images in the media can get on an airplane and come to Uganda as a tourist or investor. The actions of these and similar offenders in police uniforms do a lot to ensure the joblessness of our youth and the poor performance of our economy generally.
As I have always said, on my part, I promptly forgive these and similar offenders, as people who’re manipulated by those that control them. That’s not to say that they’re absolved of responsibility for their actions and of knowing that it’s only LAWFUL ORDERS that should be enforced. The problem is that the 31 years of NRM junta have left most citizens extremely vulnerable to manipulation and blackmail. People’s survival (subsistence & protection/ security) is believed to depend on a few “almighty” people “above”! The ill-advised, arrogant, contradictory, and disgraceful utterances of Mr Museveni in Masindi on 26th Jan 2017, were, indeed, a manifestation of real people/State relations, further entrenched over the 31 years.
Our DEFIANCE campaign is, precisely, intended to demystify the “untouchables” and empower our people to regain power, dignity and respect as the supremos of our land!!
Whether these convicted policemen serve their light punishments or not, the message is very clear. Those who deploy them to terrorize and harm our people will soon not be in position to protect them from the consequences of their actions.
Ugandans are awake and ready to regain their rightful position in their country. The right thing to do is to work with them and for them; not against them. We shall win by defiance. Ugandans will soon walk with swagger!!
Col Kiiza Besigye published this story of his facebook page