KAMPALA. The Director of Criminal Investigations Directorate (CID) Grace Akullo has opened a criminal inquiry into incidents of torture at Police’s Special Investigations Centre in Nalufenya, Jinja District.
The police spokesman Asan Kasingye, yesterday said the CID boss opened the file on Wednesday.
In the general inquiry file, the detectives will review the incidents to establish whether there is anyone who can be held responsible for the torture. And it is from the findings, which are assessed by the directorate of public prosecutions, that the detectives may open a specific criminal case(s) against the officers.
The Police Professional Standards Unit is already internally investigating at least four police officers, including two senior officers Patrick Munanura and Fred Tumuhirwe, and two junior officers, Constable Ronnie Byenkya and a sergeant, only identified as Tumukunde.
The four allegedly tortured Kamwenge Town Council Mayor, Geoffrey Byamukama who is accused of having a hand in the assassination of former police spokesman Andrew Felix Kaweesi, who was gunned down on March 17 near his home in Kulambiro, a city suburb.
Police, which has been footing hospital bills to treat Mr Byamukama at Nakasero Hospital for close to two months, only started the investigations after grim pictures of the wounded suspect circulated in the media.
While appearing before the Chief Magistrate’s Court in Nakawa on May 5, the 13 suspects accused of participating in the murder of Kaweesi told court that they had been tortured in Nalufenya. Some of them were brought to court while limping and others showed wounds they had allegedly sustained while in detention.
Bodies speak out
Uganda Human Rights Commission has summoned three security chiefs, including the Inspector General of Police, Gen Kale Kayihura, the Chief of Defence Forces, Gen David Muhoozi and the head of Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence, Col Abel Kandiho, today to explain the torture of suspects. The East African Legislative Assembly has also condemned torture of suspects, saying it might provoke instability in the country.
Mr Mike Sebalu, who represented the Assembly speaker, Mr Dan Kidega, said: “Police must handle suspects with sensitivity and high level of professional conduct.”
The Parliament’s human rights committee tasked to investigate torture allegations at the Nalufenya facility will meet today to draw a plan on their fact-finding mission. The committee chairperson, Ms Jovah Kamateeka, confirmed the new developments.
Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga yesterday also devoted next Tuesday’s plenary session to discuss the torture of suspected criminals by the police officers.
Ms Kadaga also ordered the ministers of internal affairs, without fail, to prepare a statement on the same issue that they will present on Tuesday.
Uganda Human Rights Commission has summoned three security chiefs, including the Inspector General of Police, Gen Kale Kayihura, the Chief of Defence Forces, Gen David Muhoozi and the head of Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence, Col Abel Kandiho, today to explain the torture of suspects.