By Fred Kiva
KAMPALA. Police Spokesperson Emilian Kayima says his boss the Inspector General of Police Martin Okoth Ochola didn’t incite the public against police officers on duty when he urged them to stone any officer who doesn’t follow procedure in effecting arrest.
“While on a working visit in the three regions of Greater Bushenyi, Rwizi and Greater Masaka, at Rwizi Police Headquarters in Mbarara, the IGP clearly stated that there’s no parent who would incite people against his own children,” Kayima explained in a statement dated May 25, adding that as the head of the police, the IGP protects his officers in the course of doing their lawful duty.
Kayima instead warned members of the public against taking laws in their hands, saying that whoever is found guilty will be apprehended.
“This is therefore to rest the matter of the alleged stoning of police officers who arrest without following procedure. No citizen should ever take the law in their hands,” Kayima warned.
He added, “It is criminal to do so and those who will be found doing so will be investigated and prosecuted accordingly.”
While addressing a press conference at Naguru Police Headquarters on Wednesday, Ochola warned his officers against effecting arrest without following procedure. He said in effecting arrest, officers should identify themselves by showing warrant cards, explain to the suspects the offense committed, where they are being taken and reminding them of their rights.
The IGP urged members of the public to help him arrest police officers who don’t follow such procedure. “Please help us to apprehend them, you arrest those officers, they are armed but you can get a stone and stone them,” he said.
The statements have since attracted criticism from some members of the public against the IGP who is barely two months in office after replacing General Kale Kayihura in March this year. Kayima’s statement is seen an attempt towards damage control as the video of his boss making the stoning statements goes viral.