Police commander arrested over torturing city resident
Posted Tuesday, October 1 2013 at 01:00
Police say they wonder how an officer came to arrest a suspect very far from his deployment area.
The cry of agony is heard way before one enters the one-roomed rental in Kireka, a Kampala suburb, where Mr Kasim Ssuuna, calls home.
Lying on the single bed is a 23-year-old man in vivid pain, one leg unable to move, a neck unable to turn in addition to the wounds on his right hand. To many, Mr Ssuuna, a former employee of Mukwano Factory, could as well be a victim of a fatal accident. Two men attempt to turn him so he can face his visitors, who include police spokesperson Judith Nabakooba.
The visit, which is on orders of the Inspector General of Police, Gen Kale Kayihura, follows the arrest of two police officers and their commander, Assistant Superintendent of Police Okumu Osobat, who are accused of assaulting Mr Ssuuna.
Mr Ssuuna was praying on his mat outside the factory gate, when the management called police to come and take him away. That was when, Mr Okumu and his two colleagues showed up to arrest him.
It was a brutal arrest, involving kicks on his head and ribs, an operation that was being carried out far from Mr Okumu’s deployment area. “Mr Okumu is the in charge Public Management at Kyambogo police post and had been deployed on that day to oversee a match that was being conducted at UMA show ground. Investigations on how the in charge of Kyambogo comes to handle a matter at Mukwano when there are many police stations nearby, is being carried out,” Mr Turiyagumanawe said.
Ssuuna was just an ordinary man two days ago, struggling with a cancerous wound arising from an accident that he got at Mukwano factory in December 2012 that left his two fingers cut.
According to the Police operations commander, Mr Grace Turyagumanawe, the IGP has set up a big team of investigators to prob the three officers expeditiously and have them arraigned before the police court today (Tuesday) for trial. Mr Ssuuna was driven by police to Mulago hospital for treatment. “I worked with Mukwano since 2008 before a machine that makes soap cut two of my fingers,” Mr Ssuuna says.
Lost fingers at work
Records in possession of police indicate that Mr Ssuuna was fired by Mukwano factory Management at the beginning of the year, after two months of treatment before his recovery. As part of his retrenchment and compensation package, Mr Suuna was given Shs1.1 million. “I had not yet recovered. I kept going to Mukwano to ask for treatment but they ignored me,” Mr Ssuuna says in a very low tone, evidently weak to speak anymore.