Besigye Supporters Wanted to Take Over Entebbe Road, Says RPC Kaggwa

Former RPC Andrew Kaggwa after the Wednesday court session

Former Kampala Police South Regional Commander Andrew Kaggwa has termed as justified, doctor his use of force together with juniors while quelling Dr Kizza Besigye’s supporters in July in different areas around the city.

Kaggwa, treatment who is charged with other senior police commanders for brutalizing Besigye supporters said the he could not allow the opposition strongman supporters take over a ‘ground of tactical importance’ to the country.

“I was the RPC and to me, we used reasonable force to disperse them(Besigye supporters).We could not allow supporters of someone who had vowed to overthrow a democratically elected government spill and take over Entebbe Highway which is a ground of tactical importance to the country,” SSP Kaggwa told a police tribunal in his defense on Wednesday.

“Had they succeeded in spilling over the highway, it would have been disaster. It was therefore a problem of order management situation and didn’t tantamount to torture as claimed by prosecution.”

In his defense, the former RPC who is charged with conduct that tarnished the police’s image and negligence of duty said that they(police) in their training are mandated to deploy any of the 5 methods including blocking, isolating, escorting, regulating and dispersing  an incident of public order management  but said the others failed and he resorted to dispersing.

Kaggwa told court that they tried isolating Besigye but the latter chose to park in the middle of the road, prompting supporters to come in big numbers and that these started hurling stones at the law enforcement officers.

“The supporters threatened police officers and other government installations and we could not allow what had happened in 2011 during the swearing-in ceremony when convoys for foreign dignitaries were stoned. It was an embarrassment to the country,” Kaggwa said.

Use of Sticks

The former Kampala Police South Regional commander told court that a few days to President Museveni’s swearing-in, the police force introduced a new standard operating procedure in which use of teargas and rubber bullets was abolished in favor of the ‘baton charge’ where law enforcement officers were tasked to quell demonstrations using sticks.

He reasoned that the same method was used to disperse Besigye supporters at Busaabala and Kaleerwe which he said was in line with the new operating procedure.

“We could not have used the (sticks) by throwing them or stabbing someone but by beating. A stick (baton) is used to hit someone on specific parts of the body like the back, buttocks and the ankles and that is what we exactly did.”

“We never pursued them after that and no one has ever reported that they got injuries because of the beating. In which way did we then tarnish the name of the police force,” the furious Kaggwa wondered.

Asked whether he has evidence showing Besigye supporters throwing stones at police, Kaggwa who was now charged answered that his role was to command and capturing footage.

“I was on the ground on that day but you were not there,” the now angry  Kaggwa  told the prosecutor Ruth Kushemereirwe, police court chairman Denis Odongpiny and other court members.


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