The Uganda Police Force has arrested its own officers said to have responded too slowly to an emergency when the parents of kidnap victim Maria Nagirinya reported. Police declined to reveal the number of officers arrested.
The bodies of Nagirinya and her driver Ronald Kitayimbwa were later found dumped in Mukono. Their bodies were six kilometres from Mukono Town on Kayunga road, in Mukono District.
They were found covered with dry grass in a water channel. The body of the woman had cuts on the head.
Nagirinya, 28, went missing on Wednesday night when unknown gunmen forcibly took her as she approached the gate of her home in Busega, a Kampala city suburb.
The arrested officers join the list of ten people so far arrested over the double murder.
Three suspects were arrested in connection to the murder while seven others were arrested for obstructing officers who had gone to effect the arrest.
Police’s Criminal Investigation Department (CID) is in charge of the investigation into the kidnap and murder case that occurred on Thursday, August 29, 2019.
The police officers face charges of neglect of duty.
Professional Standards Unit (PSU) of police is in charge of assessing the response of the officers to the emergency.
Residents and relatives of the victims accuse the officers stationed in Kibumbiro, Nateete and Katwe of failing to respond quickly when the kidnap case was recorded with each of them.
During the Monday presser, AIGP Assan Kasingye, speaking on behalf of the Inspector General of Police Martin Okoth Ochola, apologised to the public for the police’s response to the kidnap.
Kasingye sent a strong warning to police officers who fail in their mandate to respond to public safety concerns. He especially warned officers against switching off their office phones as emergencies can happen at any time.
He asked the public to always call senior officers if their juniors fail to respond.
Kasingye also explained that the challenge of callers intending to call telecom companies that have their calls diverted to police has since been rectified.
Freddie Egesa, a private investigator, said the police is right to investigate and punish its officers for neglecting their duties but should also find out why there was slow or no response among the officers.
He advised the police to offer more training to its officers and also train the public on security tips.