I have been away from writing not because I wanted to but because twenty days into the month of April, uninvited sans (French for without) warrant some professional people following professional or unprofessional instructions, came visiting my work place and by the end of the visit I was inside police cells.
This is the reason I have since proudly become OB Kira Road police station boarding section. Quite a number have only managed attending day classes at the facility.
Off course you know that former Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi is now officially my OB. I am not sure he belongs to our elite category. He must have remained a day scholar sadly. After the night that changed my life and reputation significantly, the next morning they took me home dramatically and they took away my devices.
The things I saw and eavesdropped on off phones and radio calls are priceless for anyone in the media interested in understanding how Uganda works these days.
For my work God wanted me in there to see and hear what I heard.
It has taken this long for the police to hand back to me my electronic devices back and to get to have this one working again as I want and expect it to. One of the laptops had things removed! My daughter had borrowed it from a friend at her university.
When we handed it back to its owner he found that it was not working right. Now it was not mine, only found in my house sadly, I do not know why they took things from it?
I am sure they are still investigating. There must be a way of knowing who owns a laptop surely… Any way, I still feel for the officers who picked me up. They are some very smart human beings and quite intelligent.
They are not the type I needed to educate on the legality of the lack of it of picking me up the way they did and for all reasons sedition in April, 2020. No they already know.
The question is what could they have done when they were ordered to go pick up a new anchor? Depending on who it was that ordered that evening activity they had one of two choices or did they even have?
The two choices were: debate with whoever it was the legalities and or processes of picking up a news anchor!
Educate whoever it was on the processes that have to be followed before that is done insisting that should those not be followed there would be ramifications for the force and its reputation which ever the arresting force was that evening because that debate rages on who exactly sanctioned the arrest depending on who you speak to and how much they know of the events of that evening.
Uganda Police forces works in a very predictable specific way what we all know, don’t we? It claims to have arrested me in a way antitypical of Uganda police force.
It follows that a top top police chief asked me why I was arrested and he belongs to the very top brass of the arresting force. Make what you will of that. I wont say much more what we shared with him. My job and not disclosing sources are two inseparable cousins.
Now how do you educate your boss about processes of an arrest? That has consequences no doubt about that. To do that you and your boss have to be very professional for such a space to exist where such an honest and candid conversation happens.
After it you agree salutes are exchanged and the best thing for the force is done. Such spaces are an inescapable imperative if you have an institution that cares about reputation local and international.
I was to believe the reputation, literal and perceived, of our forces still matters here and abroad. What we can and must ask is whether that kind of space exists in the arresting force? If it does why did that conversation not take place or did it? This is not about me.
No I insist. It is about the reputation of a force that takes in a “journalist” and months later he has not been prosecuted. I was given a police bond paper without a charge!
I called the police professional in my on air interviews after my release and indeed I saw some very professional officers in the process of those two days. I have to defend their professionalism given what has since followed.
Do our officers know that what goes on here is discussed by other police officers who insist that even if they wanted to do that there was a more meticulous way to archive the same while keeping the reputation of the institution intact?
How does a force, which ever it was that arrested someone for sedition in the evening speak of subversion in the morning?
Who sat down to plan for this not knowing what charges where to be placed? Who arrested me for sedition to later find out it was subversion? Why was it so hard to check our law books on where sedition stands before I am told its sedition for which am picked?
Does this have the hallmarks of a force that is meticulous,deliberate and thorough? You look so bad and unplanned when you work this way as a force. That’s what I saw. I could say more but I care so I shall conceal much else as a citizen its behoves me to do so…
You arrest someone for sedition and there is no interrogation? No one producing before me what I said that’s seditious, pictures of where I was and with whom I was?
Where is this level of thoroughness that would have left Kasumba saying this chaps are meticulous in their approach to work? Do the forces know that as they act there are people like me watching and hoping we can go out and report that yes our forces are have methods of work that leave you impressed? Chance missed big time.
It hurts when you see things like these coming from professional forces. I was told of someone saying I was was trailed for some time. Who was this trailing me that did not come to my house?
You see as they drove me home they asked me for all the directions to my house. So if you are trailing me and you are serious why don’t you know my home? Any way it is just sad that I learned with sadness that this is what goes on. We need to pray for this nation.
These were very good men most of them at least caught prisoners themselves of a very complex set of circumstances. Do not be deceived, solving this conundrum wont be easy. We need a space where honest candid conversation goes on between those that order and those they order.
I am convinced beyond reasonable doubt that…..I shall not say that today one day I will that’s for sure. Good day.