Security has again come under the spotlight over the manner in which Makindye West Member of Parliament, Allan Ssewanyana was re-arrested, shortly after release from Kigo prison on Thursday.
Ssewanyana who is battling charges related to the recent spate of murders in Masaka where over 25 people were killed in one month was on Thursday afternoon finally released on bail but his freedom was short-lived after security re-arrested him as he left prison.
In a dramatic scene at the Kigo prison exit, as the opposition legislator walked out , a Toyota Hiace van, commonly referred to as drone intercepted him and operatives from Joint Anti-Terrorism Task Force(JATT) jumped out and arrested Ssewanyana.
It was a moment of despair for the legislator’s relatives and supporters waiting near the prison whose only chance at bonding with their loved one ended at seeing him walk out of the prison gate, only to be rearrested.
However, UPDF spokesperson, Brig Flavia Byekwaso confirmed the army had arrested Ssewayana whom she said is facing fresh charges.
The army spokesperson however dismissed as not true, reports that the opposition legislator had been kidnapped.
“We have him and he has not been kidnapped as some people are writing, he is safe but will have to answer some more questions,” she said.
Following the Ssewanyana’s arrest, a number of Ugandans have blasted security for the manner in which the legislator was apprehended.
Kampala Lord Mayor, Erias Lukwago who is also Ssewanyana’s lawyer said his brutal arrest has rendered the earlier court order for his release useless.
Opposition strongman, Dr.Kizza Besigye too, was not left out in condemning security on Ssewanyana’s re-arrest.
“Having completed all the requirements to be released on bail from Kigo Prison, Hon Allan Ssewanyana emerged from the prison gates this evening; was promptly grabbed by armed men in black uniforms; thrown in a van and taken to, yet unknown, destination. This is an outrageous abuse of rights and the violation of the rule of law with impunity,” Besigye said.
National Unity Platform leader, Robert Kyagulanyi, also known as Bobi Wine referred security to the recent address on human rights by President Museveni.
He however noted that the address seems to have been a waste of time.
Last month, President Museveni scolded security forces for using excessive violence during their operations, especially in the arrest of suspects.
He said that on many occasions, security forces have been accused of violating human rights but warned this is not acceptable.
“Nobody should be in the uniform of the army when he does not respect the interests of [Ugandans]. When you respect the people of Uganda, you must observe the following: do not bark at people, do not beat the people, do not beat the public and even do not beat criminals and not even the children,” Museveni said.
However, according to many, the manner in which the Thursday events unfolded point indicates security agencies learnt and forgot nothing from the president’s address on handling suspects and respect to human rights.