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Museveni: Police Officers Involved in Torture Need Sensitisation

President Yoweri touring a police guard at the Kampala Serena before delivering this year's State of the Nation Address (Photo by Kenneth Kazibwe)

President Museveni has suggested a more proactive method of addressing cases of police and other security organs torturing crime suspects, price rather than arresting and jailing those implicated.

The president today defended his method of having these officers, medications educated and sensitized first rather than just throwing them behind bars.

This he says is the NRM way of addressing such issues.

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“We always combine education methods, generic sensitization and administrative methods, punishments, demotions etc,” said the President.

“Some people have never heard these words. They don’t understand the difference between political and administrative methods.”

According to the President, explaining and sensitizing was how he was able to instill discipline in the army that he commanded to capture power three decades ago.

“This has been the life blood of FRONASA, NRA and the UPDF. We address the mind not just the body.”

Museveni, while delivering this year’s State of the Nation Address at the Kampala Serena Hotel, tackled this hot button issue in his opening part of the address.

Police torturing suspects in its custody made headlines in the past weeks and caused widespread public outrage.

The torture claims proliferated in the heat of the investigations into the murder of former police spokesperson Andrew Felix Kaweesi in March.

Police in haste to save its face, opened up an investigation and had four of its officers who allegedly tortured Kamwenge Mayor Godfrey Byamukama,  tried in a public court.

When these reports came out, Museveni says he carried out an analysis of the torture, and how it actually impedes successful investigations.

“That is a powerful message, because it addresses the whys and why nots of an issue,” he said.

“It addresses the policeman of the mind rather than the policeman of the body.”

He says however, that he was confronted at one point by some Non-Governmental Organizations which came “pouring scorn on my methods and recommending fascist methods of arrest and imprisonment without education.”

These however, he said were forgetting that through proactive means, his government was able to control the powerful national army the UPDF.

“Could these experts in everything tell us why the UPDF has been able to operate in Somalia, CAR, the DRC and South Sudan without complaining? Is it because of high pay of fear of imprisonment?” wondered the President.

“Do they know that one can make more money in the private sector than in the army? The UPDF does what it does because of conviction.”

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