Church demolition: Senior police officers, 11 others remanded

Friday August 14 2020
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The suspects arriving at Makindye Court on August 13, 2020, to take plea on charges against them. PHOTO | DAVID LUBOWA

Seventeen people including senior police officers have been charged and sent on remand at Kitalya government prison on charges of unlawfully demolishing St. Peter's church in Ndeeba Rubaga Division, Kampala.

Among the jailed officers is the District Police Commander (DPC) of Katwe police station David Epedu who is accused of conspiring with six other officers attached to the Field Force Unit (FFU) and the ‘owner’ of the contentious piece of land Dodoviko Mwanje to commit an act which threw the entire nation into shock.

The accused who were arrested by the State House Anti-corruption unit on Thursday afternoon appeared before Makindye Court Grade One magistrate, Jude Okumu, where they denied the charges.

The police officers are separately faced four counts including disobedience of lawful orders of the commander of Kampala Metropolitan area Moses Kafeero; who had ordered them to deploy security at St. Peter's church in Ndeeba inorder to avert any demolition or destruction at the said church.

The officers are also charged with theft of chairs, doors and other property belonging to the church.

The officers appeared in the dock jointly with 11 other people including a 65-year old retired army officer, Muhammad Kawooya, together with whom they face a charge of malicious damage of property.

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It is alleged that on August 10, 2020, twelve people used an excavator to break and cause damage to St. Peter's church Ndeeba; a property of the Church of Uganda.

The accused who denied all the counts were remanded until August 24, 2020 for hearing of their bail applications.

Court also issued criminal summons to Dodoviko Mwanje; the man said to be behind the demolition of the church who was absent in court.

This was after prosecution informed court that Dodoviko has never been arrested and police are still searching for him.

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