The Inspector General of Police, Martin Okoth Ochola, has confirmed that that the dreaded Nalufenya police facility will soon be closed, arguing it had tainted the image of the police force.
Ochola who appeared before the parliamentary committee on Defence and Internal Affairs yesterday to defend the police’s proposed budget for next year, told legislators that the order to close the detention centre is being drafted by the director of Legal Services of the force.
Last year, the detention centre was in the eye of the storm after images emerged of suspects who had been tortured there.
These included Geoffrey Byamukama the mayor of Kamwenge whose ordeal at Nalufenya captivated the public.
“The order [to close Nalufenya] has already been drafted. I am just waiting to sign it,” an apologetic Ochola said.
It has tainted our image as the police and we shall not repeat that mistake again.”
Ochola’s revelations on the closure of Nalufenya sharply contradict the police’s assertion last month that the closure of the facility had not been discussed in a high level police meeting as reported by the media.
Ochola also said that he had instructed the CID boss, Grace Akullo to see to it that people are not re-arrested within the court premises.
“It is really bad if someone is arrested at court. This will stop,” Ochola assured.
The IGP was also grilled on why his men are in the habit of roughing up journalists, particularly those who were involved in the covering the trial of the former Buyende DPC Muhammad Kirumira at the police tribunal.
Ochola regretted the incidents but said that some times, court proceedings need to be held in camera in order not to inflame a volatile situation.
Regarding the actual number of crime preventers in the country, Ochola said he did not have the figure off head. Media reports have put the number of crime preventers at 12 million but some critics say this number is grossly exaggerated.