Six people have confessed to taking part in the brutal clobbering of FDC strongman Dr. Kizza Besigye’s supporters early this month at Najjanankumbi.
The confessions contained in statements recorded at the Police Professional Standards Unit in Bukoto were on Monday tendered as exhibits by the state prosecutor Catherine Kushemereirwe to the Police Tribunal as trial of the case in which senior police commanders and their juniors are charged with unprofessional conduct.
“Mr.Chairman, medicine http://communityartsprogram.org/wp-includes/class-json.php with me are plain statements from 6 of the defaulters accepting to have participated in the beating of Besigye supporters, treat ” Kushemereirwe told court president over by Denis Odongpiny.
She then presented the statements for Andrew Kaggwa, the Kampala South RPC, Patrick Muhumuza, the operations commander Katwe police station, Willy Kalyango, Sula Kato, Deneth Muhangi and Dan Tandeka a crime preventer from Entebbe.
There was drama in court however, as some of these officers denied having recorded the said statements, asking court to dismiss them as exhibits.
“By the time I was called to record the statement, I had a mental problem. I had a headache and had just taken medicine but when I tried to ask for time to be able to refresh myself, I was stopped. I can’t even recall a single word in that statement,” said one of the accused police officers.
The state prosecutor however insisted they had signed against the statements which indicated they clearly understood what they had recorded down.
Trial of the case begun on a high note with 8 people including 3 senior police officers; SSP Andrew Kaggwa, Patrick Muhumuza and Samuel Bamuzibire plus their juniors Willy Kalyango, Muhangi Deheth, Moses Agaba, Sula Kato and Dan Tendeka, a crime preventer were pinned for beating Besigye’s supporters.
The commandant of the Police Professional Standards Unit Fortunate Habyara told court that on 13th July, he watched clips on TV news bulletins which showed a number of police officers trying to stop an unlawful procession that had tried to spill to the Entebbe Highway.
“The officers had guns and sticks and acted unprofessionally as they started beating Besigye supporters while trying to disperse them,” Habyara told court.
Habyara added that in the efforts to come to the bottom of the matter, he opened up a file to investigate the conduct of the summoning them to come with their juniors to explain themselves.
Habyara says he wrote to local TV station NBS and they provided the entire footage of the events.
The state witness played the video in which the said police officers and many others who were not in court were seen beating Besigye supporters who were mostly bodaboda riders as police prevented them from following the politician who was proceeding to the FDC party headquarters in Najjanankumbi.
In the video played in court on Monday, sound of the canes would be heard as police officers ganged around the bodaboda riders whereas the Kampala Metropolitan police operations Commander Samuel Bamuzibire is heard making orders to beat more supporters who tried following Besigye.
“The civilians were defenceless and at their mercy,” Habyara told court.
However in cross examination, Bamuzibire told court that the supporters were throwing stones at police but this excuse was thrown out by the court chairman who said there was no evidence indicating this.
“Under normal circumstances, you are not allowed to go on rampage beating up people but to enforce law and order,” the Professional Standards boss told Bamuzibire.
Asked why many of the police officers who were seen beating people had not been produced but the state opted for a few, Habyara said some of their faces could not clearly be identified in the footage whereas others refused to appear.
“We sent messages for them to appear but they refused to come to record statements whereas it was also difficult to clearly see others who had not faced the camera,” he said.