By Max Patrico Ocaido
The chairperson of the Human Rights Committee of Parliament, Jovah Kamateeka is the latest critic of the Uganda Police Force saying the Force works work like ‘terrorists.’
Kamateeka, also Mitooma district Woman MP was responding to the recent arrest of former Buyende District Police Commander (DPC) ASP Muhammed Kirumira for his utterances on social media where he among others announced his resignation from the Force, accusing them of persecuting him by placing ‘trumped up’charges on him.
“Kirumira may have wronged his superiors by making utterances in the media, but also the way police arrested him was very brutal. Police showed us that they are terrorists, how do you cut someone’s door in order to arrest him? That force was uncalled for,” Kamateeka said, adding that, “Police should sweep their house well.”
Last month, the police tribunal led by the police prosecutor, SSP Catherine Kusemererwa charged Kirumira with six counts; torture, unlawful arrests, corruption, bribery, extortion and excessive use of authority. According to prosecution, Kirumira allegedly committed the said offences when he was in-charge of Nansana Police Station and Old Kampala as division police commander in 2013 and 2014 respectively.
On February 01, police surrounded Kirumira’s house in Bulenga just a day after Kirumira announced on social media that he was qutitting the police force, after accusing them of persecuting him and framing up cases against him to damage his reputation.
Kamateeka said that whereas police has been instrumental in protecting Ugandans and their property, they were unprofessional in the arrest of Kirumira, saying that police dehumanized him in the presence of his wife and kids.
“Kirumira was meant to appear in court that day so police should have waited and have him arrested from court. It was not necessary to arrest him that way. Kirmuira could have been an offender but police should follow the rule of law and humanity in whatever they do because he has a wife and kids and did not deserve that kind of arrest,” she said.
Kamateeka said that the Human Rights Committee could consider summoning Police chief Gen Kale Kayihura to forge a way forward.
Our efforts to get a comment from the Police through the spokesperson Emilian Kayima were futile as he didn't receive or return our repeated calls.
Mid last year, Speaker Rebecca Kadaga instructed the parliamentary committee on human rights to visit and inspect Nalufenya detention facility and report to the house in regard to torture allegations at the now infamous Jinja-based facility. Kirumira who is reappearing at the police tribunal tomorrow (Tuesday) is reportedly detained at Nalufenya.