I’m being maligned by Police, says judge accused of knocking traffic officer

Monday June 1 2020

Deceased: Police Constable (PC) Innocent

Deceased: Police Constable (PC) Innocent Ayesigye. COURTESY PHOTO 

By Anthony Wesaka

Amidst the ongoing accusations and counter-accussions of who actually, knocked a traffic police officer who later died, High Court judge Jesse Byaruhanga Rugyema, has since written to Chief Justice Bart Katureebe, detailing what exactly happened on the fateful day.

In his letter dated May 27, the judge strongly distances himself from police and media allegations that it was him who knocked traffic officer, Innocent Ayesigye at Namanve along Jinja Road.

The Mbale High Court judge instead, attributes the death of Ayesigye to the driver of the Ford car registration number UBD 896 E, whom he says was coming from the opposite direction and driving at a high speed.

"It was on Sunday 24 at around 07:15pm when I was on my way home to Mukono from Zana. I was driving a motor vehicle UAS 597U in the company of my wife and body guard. As I approached Namanve, there was a traffic officer riding a motorcycle in front of me who was also moving towards Seeta, Mukono. Upon approaching Namanve SGA, I saw an incoming motor vehicle being driven at a high speed, knock the traffic officer," Justice Byaruhanga recounts.

“I was behind the traffic officer by about 100 meters and therefore, in a position to clearly see the incident. The traffic officer appeared to have tried to dodge a rough part of the road on his side and collided with the high speeding vehicle that had also left its part of the lane for reasons not known to me," he further explains.

Officer Ayesigye succumbed to accident injuries last Tuesday from Rubaga hospital where he had been transferred by the police leadership from Mulago National Referral Hospital.
Further in his account of what exactly happened, the judge says immediately after the accident, he stopped to assess the condition of the traffic officer, who he says he had been thrown into a trench on the left side of the road.

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He also says his car was scratched by the motorcycle of the traffic officer in the process of the accident.
"My body guard tried to pull the injured traffic officer from the trench but humanely failed. He complained to me that the traffic officer had got broken legs and that without gloves, he could not do much," he says.

"We agreed that we needed to seek for help. I immediately rang a traffic officer known to me whom I had by passed at Kiwanataka Road. I implored him to mobilise his colleagues to go and help the victim. In the meantime, onlookers who had gathered around, were photographing my car imagining that it is me who knocked the traffic officer," the judge further narrates.

The judge further went on to express his dismay in the institution of police, for attributing the death of their officer to him. He accuses the force of attempting to malign him, given his position. He therefore challenged the police to retrieve the CCTV footage to show exactly what happened and end the blame game.

"The Judiciary as an institution is being maligned and it should therefore, demand for the following; the CCTV footage of the collusion, an explanation why the Ford car driver never stopped to offer help or ascertain the life of the knocked traffic officer if his version of the incident is the correct one to be believed," Justice Byaruhanga said.

He also demands for a forensic examination to be performed on both vehicles and the motorcycle the deceased traffic officer was riding on the fateful day to ascertain the truth.

Justice Byaruhanga has also called upon police to release his detained body guard and driver.
The duo was detained by police last week after they delivered the judge's car to them for a possible forensic examination.

awesaka@ug.nationmedia.com

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