The Ugandan government has apologised for the inhumane acts meted out by armed security operatives while arresting Yusuf Kawooya, a businessman, last week.
On Thursday, the State Minister for Internal Affairs, Obiga Kania apologised on behalf of government over the manner in which Kawooya was arrested by security and in broad day light.
“We are sorry for what happened but in case Kawooya committed any crime, it is totally a different matter. It didn’t necessitate that kind of arrest for any body and not only Kawooya,” Kania said on Thursday at Parliament.
Kania said officers involved in the gruesome act will face the wrath of the law because the manner in which they handled the arrest was wanting.
“Arrest is legal and genuine if somebody has been informed of his crime but if he resists, only use necessary force to subdue him. When he has been subdued, there is no need to apply extra force on them,”Kania said.
The minister insisted there is no reason for torturing any Uganda, be it suspects during and after arrest.
“We are sorry this happened.”
On October 18, a video circulated on social media showing five security operatives armed with guns beating Kawooya along Colville street near Christ the King church in Kampala.
The video was captured by Record TV.
“Twagala mmotoka( we want the vehicle),” the four officers said as they hit him with gun butts repeatedly all over his body including the kidney area.
A number of people gathered in shock to watch the proceedings.
Kawooya was subsequently detained at the Special Investigations Directorate in Kireka but on Wednesday, after six days, he was released on bond on Wednesday.
Nwoya County Member of Parliament, Simon Oyet recently said the force exerted and used while arresting Kawooya was excessive adding that the act ought to be condemned by everyone.
“If that happens in the city in broad day light and moreover near a church, what happens in the peripheries,” wondered Ngora County MP, David Abala.
Security agencies have been in the spotlight over the torture of suspects during and after arrest.
Kawooya’s relatives however said the apology will not mend wounds and damage including broken ribs caused to their beloved one by security operatives.
“Scan results have shown that some of his ribs were broken. No amount of apology will reverse this situation,” said Sula Kawooya, a family member.
The army recently apologized for the inhuman and brutal arrest of Kawooya by some of its men.
“This is to regret this unfortunate incident and to assure the public that such conduct is unacceptable and anyone who breaks the law will be held to account and will be punished accordingly,” the Deputy army spokesperson, Lt.Col. Deo Akiiki told The Nile Post.
Five people alleged to have been captured in the video were on Saturday arraigned before the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence Unit Disciplinary Committee and charged with conduct prejudicial to the good order and discipline of defence forces contrary to the UPDF Act 2005.
“You are charged with executing an operation without following the standard operating procedures,” said the court chairperson Col.Tom Kabuye while reading the charges to the suspects.
The five suspects would later admit to the charges before asking for lenient punishments by the army court.
“It is true we committed the offence when we went on the operation but the suspect turned out violent during the arrest,”Cpl Ssenkungu who is said to have led the group told court before his colleagues also added their voices to admit the charge.
However, on Tuesday, Democratic Party president, Norbert Mao said the army court had charged fake suspects in the matter.
“When you look at the physique of the men in that video, those are not the men who tormented Kawooya,”Mao said during the party’s weekly press briefing.
Kawooya, who is undergoing treatment at Kampala Hospital, is said to be a member of the Democratic Party.