President Museveni has defended security officers who were captured on video brutally arresting Yusuf Kawooya a Kampala businessman saying they reacted that way because he (Kawooya) had bitten them to try to evade arrest.
In a missive published on Sunday, Museveni said he had been informed that the businessman had tried to bite fingers of the arresting officers necessitating his mishandling.
“When I inquired, the concerned people told me that the suspect had bitten him (okuruma). That is very serious because some of the criminals have got infectious diseases. Our officer can be infected in that way and that should be an extra charge put on him,”Museveni said.
He however noted that the most appropriate response should have been to box Kawooya in order to stop him from biting the arresting officers other than hitting him with gun butts.
“That would be self defence which is very legitimate. Hitting him with a rifle butt after he has stopped biting you, however, is both vengeance and also usurping the role of the punisher (the courts).”
Museveni insisted that no criminal should ever be beaten because it is not only unfair but also gives a bad image to the country as well as creating sympathy to the criminal.
“You do not have to beat him or maim him. He will be punished by being imprisoned or even hanged, if he is sentenced. You should, therefore, not play in the criminal’s hands by beating him/her so that he gains public sympathy.”
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.
The video led to an outpouring of criticism against security agencies and their handling of suspects.