Sunday December 17 2017

Assaulted by police, saved by the Prime Minister – Part I


By Prof George W. Kanyeihamba

For me, December 5 was a day of mixed blessings. It was my wedding anniversary. Then, as part of the celebrations of the occasion, my daughter-in-law’s mother joined us for lunch. After she left, my guards, Moses and Bosco inflicted terror and assault on my person.

Earlier, I had detected both exhibiting signs of defiance and evil intentions. In the end, they attempted to murder me and without the intervention of the Prime Minister, Dr Ruhakana Rugunda and police spokesperson Emilian Kayima, it would have been curtains for me.

The story began several days before that day. Since they were assigned to me, both had persistently exhibited arrogance, incompetence and total lack of training as police constables, let alone VIPPU [Very Important Persons Protection Unit] resident and body guards. They both suffer under the impression that they and I are of the same rank and IQ.

Initially, Bosco appeared enthusiastic and eager to learn about his duties, but always forgot the same. Twice, he absconded from duty without my knowledge.

For instance, on December 2, he failed to turn up at a city function even after I had emphasised that he must be present and accompany me. I was forced to rely on my domestic worker.

Last week, he accompanied me to a medical check-up at a hospital. While I was still in the consultation room, he simply left the hospital, telling the gate attendant that I should be told he had gone for a snack in town. I waited for him to return and for the next 15 minutes, I tried to contact him on his telephone without an answer. I left for another function without him.
About an hour later, Bosco telephoned me and said sharply: “Why did you leave me behind?”
I responded: “Am I your body guard or is it the other way round?”
Bosco turned up, annoyed because I had dared to leave him behind at the hospital. I then counselled him and he appeared apologetic.

Moses fared much worse. He had earlier conspired with another resident guard, Opio and they both unlawfully broke into the room next to their guard venue. It was discovered later that whenever the rest of my household went to bed, the night guards, oblivious of their duties, also retired to bed in that room.

It will not be a surprise to report but during their respective night duties, at least three housemaids have stolen and left the premises without the knowledge of the sleeping guards.

Following the discovery of this hide-out and my criticism, Opio and Moses were incensed by my counseling. One night, Opio lied to my domestic worker that he had some urgent message for me and he could only deliver it personally. He burst into my bedroom with murderous intentions.

Fortunately, I was in the company of two visitors but he simply passed by them, with hands outstretched to grab my throat. The guests physically restrained him. An alarm was raised and Bosco speedily entered the bedroom and discovered Opio resisting the visitors so that he could grab me. Opio wrestled with him, with Opio screaming but eventually, he was arrested and reported to the police.

Following the incident, I was told that Opio was subsequently charged with attempted murder. However, to my surprise, when I recently enquired about him, I was informed that he and Police Contables Alfred Olal and Pande, who equally disgracefully misbehaved as my guards, had been deployed elsewhere, presumably to guard other potential victims.
The details of the events of December 5, will be narrated in Part Two.

Prof Kanyeihamba is a retired Supreme Court judge.