Police have ordered the arrest of an officer for defying summons to appear before the Force’s Disciplinary Court to answer charges of writing to the President accusing his superiors of allegedly protecting criminals.
The accused Assistant Superintendent of Police Steven Mugarura has defied the summons more than once. Ms Catherine Kushemererwa, the police court prosecutor, confirmed that police had ordered ASP Mugarura’s arrest.
“He was brought to court from cells and he promised that he would not escape and was released on bond. To our surprise he has never returned to court,” Ms Kushemererwa told Daily Monitor by telephone yesterday.
In his petition to the President, Mr Mugarura accused two assistant inspector generals of police, a senior commissioner of police, an assistant commissioner of police, two regional police commanders and several district/division police commanders of protecting and releasing arrested criminals.
Mr Mugarura was arraigned in the police tribunal in April and charged with six counts, including petitioning President Museveni. Police say Mugarura’s action amounts to breach of confidence and discreditable or irregular conduct contrary to provisions of the Uganda Police Act. The police also claim he stole vehicle parts while he was CID officer at Kabarole Police Station, charges he denied.
However on May 9, in a letter to senior commissioner of police Mr Dennis Odongpiny, the police court chairman, Mr Mugarura counter-accuses Ms Kushemererwa of lining up the suspects he had arrested and turning them into witnesses to testify against him during the trial in the police tribunal.
Mr Mugarura said the suspects, now listed as witnesses against him, had even been summoned by court to answer fraud charges after he had arrested them when he was still CID officer in Kabarole District.
Mr Mugarura said one of the police witnesses is a suspect he arrested and was charged with theft in Fort Portal Magistrate’s Court in 2013.
“In my own view, the disciplinary court is being used as a tool of vengeance, the reason why I am disrespectfully being arrested and forced to respond to invalid charges,” Mr Mugarura’s letter reads in part.