KAMPALA- Former premier John Patrick Amama Mbabazi has for the first time spoken about police brutality against the Opposition political parties, urging the force to act with restraint while enforcing the laws.
Mr Mbabazi made the remarks yesterday while launching a book titled Pieces of Time authored by Pamela Ankunda at Serena Hotel in Kampala.
“I am not happy with the police, no doubt about it. Police has a responsibility of enforcing the law, however they must do it humanely,” he said.
In the past weeks, the country has witnessed brutality meted out to citizens by security officers during the campaign gathering.
At least 54 people were killed in two days of protest last month as security forces moved to quell them following the arrest of Opposition presidential candidates Patrick Oboi Amuriat of Forum for Democratic Change and Robert Kyagulanyi of the National Unity Platform Party.
Mr Mbabazi also criticised Opposition members whom he accused of glorifying the past regimes which he said had committed atrocities.
“I have in the recent times seen comrades glorifying the past regimes. They have attempted to whitewash the horrific history of the past. This book, Pieces of Time written by Pamela is a complete rebuttal of the claims by some of these comrades.
Today we have the rule of law. The height of any civilisation of any society is the extent to which it applies the rule of law. Therefore, you cannot compare the past which Pamela has written about in her book, with the present,” he said.
Ms Ankunda said Uganda has gone through a lot and that no amount of disagreements and hatred should push Ugandans to the level of violence recently exhibited.
She said the recent standoff between the security forces and the Opposition forces could have been settled through dialogue and that Ugandans should give peace a chance.
“Right now the police is on the extremes saying ‘we shall enforce the law’ and the other people are saying ‘we shall fight to the last drop of our blood’. This must not happen and we must learn to live in peace and harmony,” she said.
About the book
Ms Ankunda revealed that Pieces of Time is a tribute to her late father Izidoro who was allegedly kidnapped by the security forces under former president Milton Apollo Obote and buried alive in 1980.
She narrates her ordeal as she tried to locate her late father’s remains in the forests of Luweero in vain.
Her book is available at Aristoc Booklex at Shs50,000.