Four senior police officers in Uganda have been charged by a police court for unlawful exercise of authority and discreditable conduct on Wednesday. The court sitting was adjourned to Monday July 25 at 2pm for hearing.
They were deemed to have applied excessive force in their line of duty. They however pleaded not guilty to charges relating to the aggressive dispersal of supporters of leading opposition candidate Kizza Besigye.
Supporters of the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) leader have clashed with police in recent times when Besigye went out on his defiance campaign usually driving through town while his supporters cheered him on.
Katwe Division Field Operations Commander, Patrick Muhumuza, Wandegeya Division Police Commander, Moses Nanoka, Kampala Metropolitan Police Field Force Commander, Samuel Bamuzibire, and Kampala Metropolitan Police South Commander, Andrew Kaggwa, were the officers charged, Uganda’s Daily Monitor reports.
The punishment for each of the two charges range from demotion and imprisonment in police custody to dismissal. Besigye was recently released on bail on charges of treason after swearing himself in as president, 24 hours to inauguration of President Museveni.
Besigye is contesting the results of a February 2016 presidential poll. The FDC candidate insists that he won the polls and that the results which gave Museveni over 60% were rigged. Another case of disobeying lawful orders of the police was dropped recently.
The FDC has been at the forefront of the call for police officers engaged in brutalizing its supporters to be tried for their unprofessional conduct.