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Taste the fruits of Museveni’s “police clean up”

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Around March 2017, Uganda’s military dictator Museveni publicly stated that his police “has been infiltrated by criminals”, before he ordered the Police chief, Gen. Kalekyezi ” to clean the police of these infiltrators”. This was during the mourning of AIGP Felix Kaweesi who had just been shot dead by his colleagues over power and resources. Museveni very well knew that in the public image, the police force is damaged beyond repair but at the same it fits well into the regime’s requirement of a brutal force that spreads terror among the population.  He was simply duping the unsuspecting public while commending the police force’s whole major role is to crush political opposition and general dissent. Since then the Police has continued with their crusade of meting out brutality against Ugandans.

While the repeated gruesome brutality against the opposition personalities like Dr. Besigye, Lord Mayor, Erias Lukwago and others “is okay” because they are “enemies”, have a close look at the following incidents:

  1. Last week some police officers led by Superintendent of Police (SP) Richard Edyegu who is the In-charge of Nsambya Police Barracks and the Zonal Security manager of Jinja Road Zone, plotted and kidnapped a one Gerald Yashaba for a ransom. Yashaba was kidnapped the Iddi Amin regime style immediately after dropping his children at school and bundled in a civilian registered waiting car.

As usual, to break the spirits of their victim and to wade off the onlookers, they immediately accused him of having killed AIGP Kaweesi.  He was driven straight to Nsambya barracks from where he was taken to a hideout shortly after. They demanded a ransom of US $100,000 or else he would be killed.  It was in the process of negotiations that his brother contacted Flying Squad who set a trap and netted the culprits. Though it looks like it was the victim’s wife was the one who initiated the kidnap, Flying Squad’s immediate response was because the victim is from the Western region. Also, much as the setting of the kidnap was the work of an immature, if SP Edyagu had been a Mwesigye, Baguma, Niyonsaba or Tumusiime, the Flying Squad would have let him off the hook.

Even though, as usual, you will hear of the suspects in such a heinous crime appearing before the Police Professional Standard Unit (PFSU) on charges of professional misconduct instead of kidnap under the normal courts of Judicature.  Being Edyegu, he has no god fathers in the force and may also end up in civilian courts just as was the case with the other officers, Maxwell Ogwal in Masaka and another Ogwal in a Kabaale court.

What about the likes of Kataratambi, Kato, Komurubuga, Gilbert Arinaitwe, Joel Agume, and others who have committed grave criminal offences??? The victim in this incident was just lucky, he would have easily been killed and branded an armed robber or terrorist.  His luck also arises from the fact that the “Edyegus” have limited access to using the notorious torture chambers.

  1. Local residents of Namamve are bitter with the police over the death of their colleague in police custody. Salongo Mohammed (43) was violently arrested by the police and detained at the Independence Park Police post in Namamve on charges of simple assault of his wife. The police later reported that he had hanged himself using his trousers belt. Locals are reasonably arguing that the belt suicide version does not hold because it has always been a practice for detainees to be stripped off belts, shoes, watches, jewelry, caps etc. Salongo Mohammed is not the first such victim and won’t be the last.

The truth is that in its efforts to spread terror and acquire money, the police is at the disposal of whoever seeks to avenge another.  At a small fee, the wife must have asked the police to humiliate Ssalongo Mohammed who in turn may have refused to yield a counter offer. That is the situation, every simple matter ends up at the police station. A stubborn baby who refuses to eat food, bathe or sleep must be threatened with calling the police.  The country is steadily but surely sliding into a police state where citizens worship the police.

Of course, as usual someone will argue that these are isolated incidents.

INFORMATION IS POWER AND DEFIANCE IS THE WAY TO GO.

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