Police has said the Ugandan Ambassador to Burundi, Maj Gen (Rtd) Matayo Kyaligonza who together with his security guards face allegations of assaulting a female Police officer in Mukono district, will be summoned to record a statement concerning the incident.
Police say Kyaligonza faces probable charges of assault and wrongful obstruction of an officer on duty.
Police Sergeant, Esther Namaganda, a traffic Police officer was over the weekend allegedly assaulted and manhandled by body guards of Gen Kyaligonza.
The incident happened in Seeta Mukono, where the armed men attached to Military Police as are reported to have manhandled Namaganda who was on duty. The victim says she had stopped the car after it made a wrongful turn, in violation of the traffic regulations.
She says the driver objected to her advice and thereafter, two military officers came out of the vehicle and insisted that they wanted to continue through the way she said was wrong.
On Monday, the Police spokesperson, CP Fred Enanga said two task teams headed by the Kampala Metropolitan Police (KMP) traffic Commander and the other by the CID Commander for KMP have been instituted to follow up the matter.
The KMP Traffic Commander team will probe the conduct of the driver who abused traffic rules while the CID will investigate the allegations of assault against a traffic officer which tantamounts to wrongful obstruction of an officer on duty.
“These two teams will work jointly with the CMI to investigate the 2 soldiers who were arrested on Sunday,” Enanga said during a news conference at the Police headquarters in Naguru on Monday.
“The public should know that the conduct of these soldiers was condemned by the UPDF and will be be handled by the army court, but because the case is also civil, our team will work with CMI to see how charges that are civil are charged in the civil courts,” he said.
“As a matter of protocol since the General is mentioned, the team through Police leadership calls for the summoning of Ambassador Kyaligonza through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, on probable charges of assault and wrongful obstruction of an officer on duty”.
“Because our officer claims she was slapped twice by the Gen which obstructs an officer from doing her work”.
Police has also said that the driver of the vehicle Reg No 18 CD M1 in which Gen Kyaligonza was traveling is also being investigated and will be reprimanded accordingly. Enanga said the incident was a case of indiscipline on the part of the driver since there was neither a lead car nor was there an emergency.
Enanga said the manner in which Sergeant Namaganda was treated was “embarrassing” and “disrespectful”, and condemned strongly such acts of brutality.
Police has also acknowledged the apology issued by the military following the incident.
Enanga credited the traffic officer for exhibiting professionalism and restraint despite the brutal force that was used against her by the soldiers.
“We congratulate her for professionalism even when she was handled in an embarrassing manner and grabbed by the collar. She did not retaliate because if she had, perhaps the incident could have been more violent than it was,” the Police spokesperson said.
He said Namaganda’s case is only an example of the risks that Police officers face during their work of policing. Such risks are especially occasioned by the fact that these officers interact with different people who have different characters including bad temper, he said.
Nonetheless, Police has always trained its offocer to carry out risk assessment and encouraged them to demonstrate restratun during unmanageable situation, Enanga said.
In the wake of the Mukono incindent, the public has expressed skepticism about whether the Police is capable of cracking the whip on not just the soldiers but the retired soldier and politician, given his status.
But Enanga said there are precedents where Police, working jointly with the the military have investigated cases involving high ranking military officers and charged them, adding that Kyaligonza’s case is not unique.
“There is no General that is above the law. The law will always catch up with you”.
“The only challenge has always been jurisdiction since the army prefers that their officers are charged in the court martial because legally, that court is at the level of High Court”.