Assistant Superintendent of Police, Steven Mugarura, a police officer formerly attached to the CIID and was recently dismissed from the force by the police tribunal has appealed against the sentence.
The police court in 2017 chaired by Senior Commissioner of Police Denis Odongpiny charged Mugarura with a number of offences including writing to President Museveni and the then IGP, Gen.Kale Kayihura over the rot in the police force.
Last month, the court convicted him of being away without official leave for over six months and later dismissed from the force.
“The defaulter is therefore recommended for a discharge in accordance to section 28(1) (b) of the Police Act cap 3030 since he has ceased to be and is unlikely to be efficient,” the court ruled on December 5.
However, ASP MUgarura has appealed against the sentence by the police disciplinary tribunal saying the punishment was not fair but rather harsh.
He says the court was wrong in its judgment when it said that he had been away without official leave for six years, saying the period had been exaggerated.
“The court misdirected itself and based on erroneous findings and wrong facts to come to the judgment which was exaggeratedly wrong,” he says in his appeal dated December 17.
Mugarura also accuses the police disciplinary court of basing on wrong findings to convict and sentence him to a dismissal from the force.
He says many “fake” cases were opened up against him by the Police Professional Standards Unit but the court never interested itself in the cases adding that the police director in charge of legal affairs advised that he is redeployed but all was ignored.
“The legal director’s opinion was ignored for unknown reasons and I was instead arrested and forced to respond to the six charges that had already been cleared. An irrational judgment was made on the charge of being away without official leave,” he says.
He says the sentence was illegal since it was delivered using the sentencing guidelines for 2017 yet the case had begun in 2014.
Mugarura also accuses the police tribunal for erring when it sentenced him following section 28 of the Police Act cap 303 which talks of the use of arms yet it is not the offence he was charged and convicted of.
“The sentence of discharge from duty against a first time offender is too harsh when the Police Act prescribes other punishments like caution and fines,”Mugarura says.
Speaking to the Nile Post, the police officer said he is being witch-hunted by remnants of the rogue officers in the police force.
“They (rogue officers) are still many in the force that instead of helping to fight criminality, they concentrate on witch-hunting fellow police officers. They fear to be exposed and will manipulate in order to get rid of fellow officers,”Mugarura said.
“I am not alone. There are many police officers in the same boat who are frustrated after being sidelined.”
The police officer said he would write to the Inspector General of Police, Okoth Ochola, the Justice Minister, Maj.Gen. Kahinda Otafiire, Security Minister, Gen.Elly Tumwine and the Internal Affairs Minister to intervene into his matters.