Officers flee arrest over torture of Kaweesi murder suspects

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Kampala. Police officers implicated in the torture of suspects in the killing of former police spokesperson Andrew Felix Kaweesi are on the run after the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Gen Kale Kayihura, ordered their arrest.
A senior police source told Daily Monitor that nine police officers; five from the Flying Squad and four from Special Operations Unit, are on the run after learning their impending arrest and prosecution.

Gen Kayihura’s order for arrest came after 13 suspects charged with the killing of Kaweesi and his two aides on March 17, implicated the police officers in torturing them during detention at Nalufenya Police Station.
Mr Godfrey Byamukama, the Kamwenge Town Council mayor, is currently nursing wounds after he was allegedly tortured while in police custody.

The police source said Gen Kayihura had already instructed police’s Professional Standards Unit (PSU) to have the implicated officers arrested within two weeks.
“These officers tortured the suspects at CPS (Kampala Central Police Station) for two days. They also mistreated them even when they were taken to Nalufenya,” the police source said.
When contacted, Mr Joel Aguma, the PSU commandant, referred Daily Monitor to police spokesperson Asan Kasingye for a comment. Addressing the journalists yesterday, Mr Kasingye admitted that some police officers implicated in the torture of Kaweesi murder suspects were on the run.
“You all know that four of our officers were arrested and charged over torturing the Kamwenge mayor Godfrey Byamukama. We are still looking for their colleagues who are still on the run,” Mr Kasingye said.

Mr Kasingye cited Sgt Ronnie Byenkya, as one of the officers on the run and is being hunted by police to answer to charges of torture. He declined to name the rest of the officers who are on the run.
Sgt Byenkya and ASP Patrick Muramira, ASP Fred Tumuhairwe, Cpl Loma Habib and Constable Ben Odeke are accused of torturing Mr Byamukama in a police van during transit to Nalufenya Police Staton in Jinja. ASP Tumuhairwe is attached to the Flying Squad, while ASP Muramira is attached to Special Operations Unit.

Not tolerated
“Police does not condone acts of torture and will now embark on all forms of rights abuses. We call upon members of the public to report officers who abuse their rights and they will be charged accordingly,” Mr Kasingye said.
Asked whether Gen Kayihura was concerned about the increasing torture allegations against police at Nalufenya Police Station, Mr Kasingye responded that the IGP had cautioned police officers to stop torturing suspects as a method of extracting information from them.

Guns recovered
Meanwhile, the police Anti-Stock Theft Unit, has recovered nine guns from nomadic Kenyan Turkana who were grazing their cattle on Ugandan territory.
Mr Kasingye said during the operation last week, 82 cattle and 105 goats which had been raided by the Turkana were recovered.

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