The Uganda Law Society has said they are optimistic,the new police leadership will be different from the previous one in regards to respect of human rights.
Early this month,President Museveni appointed Martin Okoth Ochola as the new Inspector General of Police replacing Gen Kale Kayihura who had been at the helm for 12 years.
Museveni also appointed military police commander,Brig.Muzeeyi Sabiiti as the Deputy IGP.
Speaking at the launch of their first quarterly report for the state of the rule of law in Uganda,outgoing Uganda Law Society president Francis Gimara said the lawyers’ body would soon meet the new police leadership for a ‘chat’.
“We expect the new leadership to begin by closing the torture chambers including Nalufenya. We shall engage them to see this is done,”Gimara said.
A number of suspects have in past come out in the public to accuse police of torture while in detention at Nalufenya detention centre in Jinja district.
Kaweesi murder suspects including Kamwenge mayor Godfrey Byamukama,Lt.Godfrey Musisi and 22 other suspects alll displayed skeptic wounds all over their bodies saying these had been caused by police torture in a bid to extract information from them and also to force them admit participating in the murder.
Gimara said they hope the new police leadership would do something to bring to an end these torture places.
“We expect the new leadership to undertake a comprehensive investigation aimed at exposing, arresting and prosecuting both current and former police leaders who through acts of commission and omission have perpetrated several criminal acts,”Gimara added.
Police spokesperson,Emilian Kayima recently defended the existence of Nalufenya as being legal because it is a gazetted place of detention for high profile suspects.
Police has in the recent years and in various reports been ranked as the number one violator of human rights in the country,citing the brutal arrest of opposition politicians.
Gimara said they have on a number of occasions engaged the previous police leadership over closure of torture chambers including Nalufenya but noted that their pleas fell on deaf ears.
The Uganda Law Society however said in their report that there is need for development of a new charter reaffirming police’s commitment to respect and uphold human rights and also be accountable to the public in regards to enforcing law and order.
“He(Ochola) is a lawyer and professional police officer and we are optimistic he will do something to stop these human rights violations,”lawyer Fredrick Ssempebwa added.
The lawyers’ body also asked the new police leadership to compile a comprehensive report on both the resolved and unresolved cases in the last 12 years.
“We expect them to address the steps taken to attend to the unresolved criminal cases.”