Two senior police officers have not been produced in court four months after the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) sanctioned charges of corruption and abuse of office against them.
The cases against the two officers stem from alleged theft of fuel and materials for construction of Kabaale International Airport in Hoima City.
Five other suspects were in 2019 arrested and charged in a Hoima court for allegedly stealing the construction materials
The two officers, one at the rank of a superintendent of police and the other an assistant superintendent of police, previously worked in the Albertine region. We are withholding their particulars pending their appearance in court.
Ms Jacquelyn Okui, the DPP spokesperson, confirmed to this newspaper that they sanctioned the charges against the two police officers in December 2020. “The DPP consented to the charges of corruption and abuse of office against them. The DPP further directed that the director of Criminal Investigations Directorate (CID) produces them in the Anti-Corruption Court [to take guilty or not guilty] plea. So, the office is awaiting their production in court for plea [taking],” she said.
Police spokesperson Fred Enanga referred this newspaper his CID counterpart, Mr Charles Twine, when asked to explain about the delay in arraigning the accused officers in court.
Mr Twine did not respond to our inquiries regarding the stalled prosecution of the case registered in police under file number CID HQTRS E/127/2018.
Our investigations show that one of the officers has been assigned to the Alert Squad headquarters while the alleged accomplice has remained undeployed since being recalled from the Albertine region.
Information on the police file indicates that Mr Balingonzaki Yosiya, the chairperson of Bukerenge Village in Hoima City, together with the village secretary for information lodged a written complaint with police against the officers on April 7, 2018.
They alleged that the duo at the time connived with thieves to frustrate the construction of Kabaale International Airport in Hoima City.
Detectives who investigated the allegations said the suspects stealing fuel and building materials in Hoima operated from bases in Lyantonde and Kisoro districts, and Kampala’s Ndeeba and Nateete suburbs.
In their report, the investigators noted that the accused officers had knowledge about the hired store for the stolen materials but neglected to arrest the suspects.
But one of the accused officers said he was innocent. “… these are issues that come out of malice. There is no evidence and that’s why I was transferred from [Albertine region] and now I am deployed in Alert Squad at police headquarters,” he said.
Detectives who investigated the matter said the suspects stealing fuel and building materials in Hoima operated from bases in Lyantonde, Kisoro and Kampala. Print-outs of mobile money transactions on the mobile phone handsets of the named officers showed that they received cash sent from the phone digits of some suspects arrested over the theft.