Thursday October 12 2017

Police must rein in minister Kibuule

The Golomolo incident in Buikwe District where police, deployed to guard the land claimed by minister Ronald Kibuule, beat up a man who later died in hospital, is not only criminal but also portrays a bigger problem about the minister’s character and abuse of national security forces.

Minister Kibuule has a history of abuse of the gun or his authority. Last year, he allegedly ordered the police to beat up his political rival on account that he had taken photographs of prisoners who were working at his farm. The police purported to investigate the matter, but the outcome of the investigations has never been known publicly and the case seems to have died quietly.
Last week, police deployed at Mr Kibuule’s behest to guard his private land, beat up Dick Wasswa, a tenant on the disputed land and he later succumbed to the injuries. Mr Kibuule has not come out to explain how the incident happened.
These are not the only incidents of the minister’s inappropriate public behaviour.

There are several reports of him harassing or intimidating other motorists on the road, scaring them off with sirens of police escort vehicle.
Two weeks ago, he was suspended from Parliament for entering the Chambers with a gun, contrary to the rules. This is unbecoming of such a high ranking government official, who is expected to exhibit exemplary behaviour in public.
The police are aware of all this mischief, but they are yet to take any action.

He violates or takes away other people’s rights with impunity as if he is above the law.
Impunity breeds notoriety and last week’s fatal incident in Buikwe was a culmination of this chronic impunity.

If the minister had been reined in on the earlier incidents, probably Wasswa would not have lost his life and left behind orphans and a widow.
Article 211(3) of the Constitution obliges the police to “be nationalistic, patriotic, professional, disciplined, competent and productive and its members shall be citizens of Uganda of good character.” In the Golomolo incident, the police failed every bit of its constitutional obligations.
Police said they are investigating the Golomolo incident.

Let’s hope that this time, the Force will punish the culprits that took away Wasswa’s life.

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