Ugandans have expressed outrage over the alleged brutal torture of Kamwenge Town Council Mayor, purchase Geoffrey Byamukama at the dreaded Nalufenya Police centre, pill with some leaders threatening to stop supporting the ruling NRM party.
“Enough is enough, visit this site ” said Francis Mwesigye, Deputy Mayor, Kamwenge Town Council.
“How on earth one would be subjected to such torture yet on the day AIGP Kaweesi was killed, Byamukama was with us here in a council meeting?” wondered Mwesigye.
Byamukama was arrested a month ago as he visited a friend in Kampala in connection with the murder of AIGP Andrew Kaweesi.
He would later be subjected to torture at the hands of police during transit to and detention at the much-feared Nalufenya.
Pictures of the deep wounds on Byamukama’s knees and ankles bore hallmarks of horrific torture.
During a political talk-show on NBS, former Spy Chief David Pulkol condemned the torture of the Kamwenge Mayor by police, saying, “The reappointment of Gen Kale Kayihura as IGP shows that President Museveni is not serious.”
Former Ethics and Integrity Minister, Miria Matembe warned that if police can’t own their mistakes, they should brace for tough times ahead.
“In the past, it was the army that used to torture, today it is the police,” charged a visibly incensed Matembe.
Kampala Metropolitan Police Commander Frank Mwesigwa, who attended the show, said, “Most of our commanders are professionals; they know what they’re doing and we keep guiding them.”
But an enraged Matembe fired back: “Mwesigwa should speak the truth and shame the devil. Police violates human rights with impunity.”
Matembe further warned Police against taking Uganda for “fools,” adding, “We have seen police brutality. Police is rotten.”
The torture of Kamwenge Mayor, which was first reported by ChimpReports, has equally exposed the laxity of human rights groups in Uganda.
Despite the wide online coverage of the sad development, none had taken action in defence of Byamukama’s liberties.
Despite pressing police for answers about Byamukama’s whereabouts, the law enforcement body’s leaders remained cagey as the Mayor rotted away at Nalufenya.
It was not until his condition deteriorated that Byamukama was taken to Nakasero Hospital where police quietly footed the bills.
Matembe posited that “may be some policemen are against government and they are doing it the other way around.”
Trust in police
However, Mwesigwa said police will take it to administration level on whether if administrative measures taken should be made public.
He further expressed confidence that “there’s a lot of trust in Police. We have continued to engage with members of the public.”
He further said, “Whatever mishap that happened is an individual lapse and shouldn’t be put on Police as an institution.”
But Government spokesperson, Ofwono Opondo warned that “There is an enemy of weakness of command and control at various levels of police.”
Pulkol did not agree with Mwesigwa, saying “A lot of people are being detained beyond 48 hour,” emphasizing, “The enemy is within the police.”
Article 24 of the Constitution provides that “no person shall be subjected to any form of torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”
Article 44(a) of the Constitution provides that “notwithstanding anything in the Constitution, there shall be no derogation from the enjoyment of the freedom from torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”
Police have since promised a deeper investigation into the matter with the view of holding the culprits personally liable for the offence.
DP President Norbert Mao also wondered, “If police can run over somebody on the street just like that, what do we expect behind closed doors?”
He said the “dismissive attitude of the Police is what offends our sensibilities as Citizens.”