The Uganda Human Rights Commission has joined the list of organisations and individuals that have condemned the actions of the Ugandan Ambassador to Burundi, Maj. Gen. Matayo Kyaligonza over the weekend.
Kyaligonza and his two military police guards were seen in a video clip that went viral assaulting Sgt. Esther Namaganda for stopping them from making a U- turn in the middle of the road in Seeta on Sunday.
In a statement released by their secretary Patrick Mabiiho Nyakaana, UHRC said it condemns in the strongest terms possible the assault on the police officer by Kyaligonza and his guards, adding that the action violated international human rights standards.
“We condemn the horrific actions and we demand for prosecution of the perpetuators under the Prevention and Prohibition of Torture Act 2012 which provides for individual liability of security officers whose actions were in this case tantamount to violation of the victim’s enjoyment of the right to respect human dignity and protection from inhuman treatment,” said the statement.
“The UPDF should immediately institute administrative sanctions against all individuals identified to have perpetrated the cited human rights violations.”
According to the human rights body, the actions by the UPDF general are deplorable and horrific that they should be condemned by every sane Ugandan.
“A transparent, fair, expeditious and public process as the law takes its course in bringing the culprits to book should be put in place.”
Salutes police officer for standing ground
The Uganda Human Rights Commission has on the other side applauded Sgt.Namaganda for standing her ground while enforcing law and order on the road.
“We commend her for remaining steadfast and sticking to the requirements of the law without fear or favour,”the statement added.
“She stood her ground amidst enormous pressure and the consequent manhandling she endured.”
The statement by the Uganda Human Rights Commission comes barely a day after Members of Parliament unanimously endorsed a motion to recall Kyaligonza, as Uganda’s ambassador to Burundi.
Legislators on Wednesday labelled the retired UPDF Maj.Gen as a disgrace to the army and country at large.
“An Ambassador should be an epitome of courtesy and empathy. Kyaligonza has shown that he does not know the values of the people he represents. He doesn’t even know the value that Ugandans attach to their army,” said Mitooma Woman MP Jovah Kamateeka who also doubles as the Human rights committee chairperson for parliament.
“What he did was inconceivable. He should resign and we should withdraw him from being our Ambassador. He is going to cause a diplomatic row. The right thing for him to do is to resign. He should not be our ambassador any more. He must be held accountable and must compensate the officer he assaulted.”
Bugabula South MP Henry Maurice Kibalya said it is appalling that the level of indiscipline by senior army officers is going up day by day.
“We have been hailing the army for being disciplined but here is a senior officer misbehaving. The level of indiscipline by army officers has gone up. If a police officer was handled like that, what of a common man,”Kibalya wondered.
However, despite adopting the resolution, it is only advisory in nature meaning it can be ignored by the executive headed by the President.