Top police officers in court over Zaake torture

Wednesday August 05 2020
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L-R: Mr Bob Kagarura, Wamala regional police commander and Mr Elly Womanya, the commander of Special Investigations Unit

KAMPALA- Top police officers including Wamala regional police commander Bob Kagarura and the commander of police’s dreaded Special Investigations Unit (SIU) Elly Womanya are due to appear before the Chief Magistrates Court of Mityana District.

This follows a private criminal prosecution against them by Mityana Municipality Member of Parliament Francis Zaake who accuses them of torturing him.

The duo will appear in the dock alongside Mr Alex Mwiine, the Mityana District police commander, Mr Musa Walugembe, the officer-in-charge of SIU, and Mr Twesigye Hamdan, an investigating officer at SIU.

The officers are facing similar charges with the head of the Chieftanancy of Military Intelligence, Mr Abel Kandiho, in the High Court Civil Division Court.

In the magistrate’s court, Zaake filed three counts of torture, one count of disobedience of lawful orders, and one count of unreasonable detention against the police officers. He alleges that these officers tortured him through actions including punching, kicking and pepper-spraying him, as well as tying and forcing him to assume a fixed and stressful body position.

Should the police officers be found guilty of the charges, they face 15 years in jail and dismissal from the police force. They can also be fines Shs7m. They are being charged under the Anti-torture Law of 2012.

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On April 19, Mr Zaake was arrested at his home in Mityana District by military and police personnel led by Mr Mwine and Mr Kagarura. He was accused of flouting the presidential guidelines on Covid-19 that deterred Ugandans from gatherings. He was allegedly tortured and detained without trial for 10 days until April 29.

During his incarceration, he says he was detained at several facilities, including Mityana Police Station, UPDF’s Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence headquarters in Mbuya and Uganda Police Force’s Special Investigations Unit headquarters in Kireka.

editorial@ug.nationmedia.com

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