Police Has Store Of Sticks to Beat Besigye Supporters – Junior Officer Confesses

Police officer Robert Wanzala in court on Tuesday

A junior officer has confessed that the police have a store where they keep sticks, story some of which were used to beat the supporters of FDC and opposition leader Dr. Kizza Besigye.

Robert Wanzala, a junior officer attached to CPS who is among those battling charges of brutalizing Besigye supporters in July told court in his defense that on the fateful day, he was deployed by a one SP Benson Mboro to go to the High Court where Besigye was expected to be granted bail.

He said that when Besigye started his journey, he then jumped onto the patrol vehicle manned by the KMP Operations Commander James Ruhweza with instructions to stop the supporters from blocking the way as the opposition leader returned home.

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“We were assigned to scare away supporters from joining the road with sticks. The operations commander (Ruhweza) briefed us on how to use the sticks before we proceeded with our duty,” Wanzala told court on Tuesday.

“The briefing was to maintain law and order on the road.”

He said that while Besigye’s convoy proceeded, the supporters kept on joining it in big numbers and most of them started   throwing stones and mangoes at police officers.

The junior officer told court that they continued dispersing them by scaring them off the road so as traffic could flow freely.

“We were given the sticks by the FFU KMP commander and signed for them. The sticks were from the police anti –riot stores and we returned them later,” the junior officer said.

Asked whether he participated in the beating, Wanzala said he only scared away Besigye supporters.

On the number of sticks in the store, he said he could not guess but noted they were many and that all police officers during that operation had sticks.

When asked if what they did together with his fellow police officers was right, Wanzala said their commanders never stopped them but gave them a go ahead.

“If it was wrong then the commanders would have reprimanded us that what we were doing was wrong.”

Asked whether scaring away supporters meant beating them, the junior officer maintained they (police) only scared them away.


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