What you need to know:
Background. The police chief has been dragged to court over torture after police beat up Dr Kizza Besigye’s supporters last month
President Museveni yesterday gave a ringing endorsement to under fire Gen Kale Kayihura, praising his work despite the police chief facing criminal court summons initiated through private prosecution over police brutality.
Speaking at the Urban Authorities Association of Uganda extra-ordinary meeting at Ntare School in Mbarara District, Mr Museveni said: “People are attacking Kale (Kayihura), Kale has done a good job; he stopped fujo; because people wanted to bring fujo to disrupt business. If you have fujo, you will not have wealth.”
Fujo is Kiswahili word for disorder or riot, or breach of the peace.
The President commented on Gen Kayihura’s current predicament while lecturing the urban leaders on wealth creation and development, reasoning that if they want to sustainably make a contribution, they must answer the question of “where does wealth come from?” other than focusing only on development issues; schools, roads, hospitals and health centres.
“The ideology of urban movement is that your job is to attract as much as possible the players who will create wealth for your people and jobs for them, “he said.
Kayihura’s court case
The President’s remarks come as Gen Kayihura and seven of his senior officers were sued for alleged torture as individuals by victims of the July 12 and 13 police beatings of civilians at Kalerwe Market in Kampala and Busabala Road on Entebbe Road.
The police chief was expected to appear in Makindye Chief Magistrate’s Court on August 10 to answer charges of torture but did not show up and the case was adjourned to August 29, amid intervention by the Director of Public Prosecutions to invoke his constitutional rights and take over the matter. A mob then raided the court and laid siege on the premises, protesting Gen Kayihura’s prosecution. One of the architects of the court siege, Mr Abdallah Kitatta, later gave a media interview, vowing to protect Gen Kayihura from court summons.
Chief Justice Bart Katureebe and Uganda Law Society President Francis Gimara condemned the court raid. Internal Affairs minister Jeje Odongo last week said Gen Kayihura will not appear in court to answer to the criminal charges, saying his appearance would tantamount to prosecuting the government.
However, the private lawyers who initiated the prosecution insist that they sued the police chief and the police officers in their individual capacities. The lawyers say they would have instituted the case through the Attorney General’s office if they wanted to sue the police as an institution.
The charges were instituted under sections 4, 7, 8, 9 and 10 of the Prevention and Prohibition of Torture Act of 2012. Under this Act, public officials can be held individually liable for acts of torture they commit while holding their offices. The law also says a person who in superior command can be individually held accountable for acts of torture if he or she encourages, helps or orders a person to torture somebody.