Police investigate officers who demand for national IDs to register criminal cases

Friday March 15 2019

Phillip Mukasa, Katonga region police

Phillip Mukasa, Katonga region police spokesperson speaking during a legal aid clinic organised by Justice Centers, Uganda (JCU) on March 14, 2019. PHOTO BY SADAT MBOGO 


Police in Mpigi District are investigating some of their own officers at various police posts and police stations, who ask for national identity cards from complainants to register criminal cases.

According to Mr Phillip Mukasa, Katonga Region police spokesperson, the practice is uncalled for, and culprits will face disciplinary action if found guilty.

Mr Mukasa says some police officers use this as one way of soliciting bribes from unsuspecting residents.
"Really, why do you ask for a national ID from someone who is bleeding and he seeks for help from the counter to register his case of assault? This is why people have abandoned police because if one does not have an identity card, kintu kidogo [bribe] solves it all. Corruption has led to loss of some files, but we are trying to look for culprits and they will face the law if caught," Mr Mukasa said.

He made the remarks during a legal aid clinic organised by Justice Centers, Uganda (JCU) at Mpigi Central Market in Mpigi District on March 14.

He also used the same occasion to warn parents against settling criminal cases like defilement, early child marriages and theft at home.

"Criminal justice begins at the police counter, not in your homes. It is unlawful to settle criminal cases at home. Many matters are not reported to police, but are settled privately and this practice should stop to ensure justice for the victims. Operations have started and parents will be arrested if found in the trap," he added.

Ms Annet Nankya, legal officer at JCU Mengo Center castigated police for holding suspects in custody beyond the mandatory 48 hours and urged the public to go for mediation process in seeking for justice.
"To solve case backlog and delay of justice, let us embrace mediation because it is cheap and tightens mutual relations in the society," she said.

His Worship Muhammad Kasakya, the Mpigi Chief Magistrate encouraged the public to make use of the small claims court to save time and money.
"Most of the victims of land disputes are women because men sell off family estates without spousal consent. People should also stop killing their relatives and forceful evictions are not okay for our nation's stability," he said.