Why court ordered CID chief to pay shs40m in compensation

Why court ordered CID chief to pay shs40m in compensation
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The Chief Magistrates Court  in Iganga has ordered Stella Nankunda, the officer in charge of criminal investigations at Namutumba Police station to pay shs40 million in compensation to two men who were illegally detained.

Nankunda was  guilty of  infringing on the personal liberty of two process servers, Micheal Kaluusi and Richard Mwesigwa, when she illegally arrested and detained the duo who had sought assistance from police.

In their plaint, the two process servers told court that on December, 14, 2023, they went to effect service to Sulaina Logose but were assaulted and decided to report the case to Namutumba Police station where Stella Nankunda is the officer in charge of CID.

A case of assault was opened via SD reference 59/14/12/2023 but were astonished when Nankunda ordered that they are not allowed to leave the station and confined them for five hours.

In connivance with Logose, the CID officer hurled insults at the duo including assuring them how she was at liberty to keep them at the station for “ whatever duration , determine what time we were to leave and open up whatever charges she wished.”

After release, they filed a case to court.

On Wednesday, Iganga Chief Magisrate, Daniel Epobu Kiboko ruled that the actions of Nankunda can only be equated to impunity.

“The respondent's act of confining/detaining the applicants yet they were practicing their profession was uncalled for. The Applicants did identify themselves to the Respondent as court process servers but all this fell on deaf ears of the respondent. Even if the respondent had doubts over the identity of the applicants, she would have verified the same through the various electronic means from the entity that the applicants stated were their employers, other than confining them,” the chief magistrate said.

“The respondent went ahead to detain them which denied them chance to go and execute their work. “

The Iganga chief magistrate said the two process servers proved that their right to practice their profession and to carry on their lawful occupation was violated by the CID chief through her actions.

The chief magistrate directed that the Namutumba CID officer pays shs40 million to the duo in compensation for infringing on their rights.

Court however declined to grant an order by the two that sought to have Nankunda dismissed from the police force.

The chief magistrate said the shs40million compensation is sufficient to make her reform.

The CID officer was however ordered to make a written public apology to the duo within 30 days of the ruling.

The shs40 million compensation will also attract an interest of 10%  from the date of the ruling.

Commenting about the ruling,  lawyer Steven Kalali  who represented the two process servers hailed court for delivering justice.

"It is a good decision to give a signal to police officers who abuse the uniform to violate the rights of Ugandans that they will always be taken on in courts of law."

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