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Uganda's police chief, 7 others sued by victims of police brutality

Uganda's police chief, 7 others sued by victims of police brutality

Uganda

Uganda’s Inspector General of Police, Gen. Kale Kayihura, and seven other police commanders have been sued by two citizens who suffered beatings at the hands of the police earlier this month.

The applicants are seeking compensation for losses suffered during a recent clampdown and also want the officers involved sacked. The two victims through their lawyers, are also seeking for a court declaration that the said police commanders are unfit to be in the Force and should be dismissed with disgrace, Uganda’s Daily Monitor news portal reports.

The two, Ronald Muhereza and Michael Nyesiga, filed a suit on Thursday claiming that the actions of police in surrounding them and beating them up as they cheered opposition leader Kizza Besigye, was unconstitutional.

The defendants are not fit and proper persons to be police officers of Uganda Police Force and should be dismissed from the Force immediately.

According to them, the decision to haul the particular officers before the court was because they allegedly issued orders to their junior ranked officers to beat up the supporters of the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) leader.

“The action by the police and other security operatives on the July 13 of encircling boda boda riders at the junction from Busaabala Road to Najjanankumbi off Entebbe Road and wantonly, brutally, arbitrarily, angrily and violently beating, forcing them to abandon their motorcycles and later confiscating those motorcycles constituted a violation of their right to work, livelihood and an adequate standard of living which is protected under Articles 22 (1) and 45 of the Constitution,” their suit read in parts.

“The defendants are not fit and proper persons to be police officers of Uganda Police Force and should be dismissed from the Force immediately,” it added.

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Supporters of Besigye were mercilessly beaten for two straight days when they hit the roads to cheer their leader, on the first day, he was released from Luzira prison on bail, while on the second day he appeared before a Magistrate Court on charges of treason.

Local media also reports that Parliament on Thursday as well as government condemned police for its high handedness. Some of the sued police officers are facing charges in the police disciplinary court on the same incidents and of “bringing in disrepute the police force’s name”.

The other senior police officers sued were James Ruhweza (Kampala North Regional police boss), Andrew Kaggwa, (Kampala South Regional boss) and Samuel Bamuzibire, (Kampala Metropolitan Field Force unit commander).

Geoffrey Kaheebwa (Deputy Regional Police Commander, Kampala South), Aaron Baguma (Kampala Central Police Station commander), Jonathan Baroza, (personal Assistant to IGP Kayihura) and Daniel Tandeka Rwabwere, completed the list.