Relatives of ten senior police officers, recently arrested by the army over unknown charges and detained at Makindye military barracks, have cried out to President Museveni to intervene in their plight.
In June, a number of people including police and military officers were arrested by the Chieftaincy of Military intelligence as the army cast wide the net to catch people involved in various crimes during the 12 year tenure of Gen.Kale Kayihura as the Inspector General of Police.
On Thursday, a group of over 20 relatives who included friends, spouses, siblings and other family members told journalists that it is high time the commander in chief of the armed forces who also doubles as the president of Uganda intervened in the plight of the incarcerated family members.
“It is now over 140 days since their arrest and detention but have not been produced in any court in Uganda. President Museveni should intervene and save the situation,” said one Geoffrey Bigabwa who introduced himself as a younger bother to Col. Atwooki Ndahura, the former police director in charge of Crime Intelligence.
“At least he(Museveni) should ensure they are released on bond pending as they wait to be taken to court.”’
Addressing him as the ‘father of the nation’ the group said President Museveni should not be blinded by the small mistakes the incarcerated senior police officers committed and ignore the service they offered to the country.
They said the incarcerated police officers served the country diligently and cannot be paid by having their rights violated by detention above the mandatory 48 hours.
“This is not to condone criminality but their rights should also be respected. Some of them have been in detention for over a year .They were bread winners for their families and everything is now stuck since their arrest,” said Allan Ajuna, a son to former commander of the police Special Operations Unit, SSP Nickson Agasiirwe.
Peace Ndahura Atwooki, a daughter to Col.Ndahura Atwooki said if Gen.Kale Kayihura with whom their relatives are accused was released on bail, why can’t the same olive branch be extended to them.
“If their boss (Kayihura) was released on bail, why are the juniors still being held incommunicado? It is a gross violation of their rights,” said Peace Ndahura.
Gen. Kayihura was in August charged with failure to protect war materials contrary to section 122(1) (2) (d) of the UPDF Act 2005 and aiding the kidnap and repatriation of Rwandan nationals.
He was later released on bail pending his trial.
The group of relatives to Kayihura’s co-accused said they would soon seek for a meeting with President Museveni to discuss with him their plight.
“We shall arrange a visit to State House and we are sure as the father of the nation, he can’t decline meeting us. We know the moment he gets to know of our plight and that of our relatives, he will do something,” said Geoffrey Bigabwa, Col.Ndahura’s younger brother.
A number of senior police officers, army officers and civilians thought to be cronies to Kayihura were in June arrested by the army before being detained at the Makindye military barracks.
These included, SCP Good Mwesigwa, SCP Joel Aguma, Col Ndahura Atwooki,Lt Col Peter Musherure, ACP Herbert Muhangi, SSP Richard Ndaboine, SSP Nickson Agasirwe ,Sgt Abel Tumukunde, ASP James Magada and PC Faisal Katende.
Some of them have never been arraigned in court to be charged with any offence.