NAGURU, Kampala, Uganda: On Wednesday, Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIGP) Okoth Ochora summoned an impromptu meeting at Naguru based police headquarters. In attendance was Professional Standards Unit (PSU) boss SCP Joel Aguma.
Others were the police spokesman AIGP Asan Kasingye, Special Operations Unit’s Nickson Agasirwe, Flying Squad’s Herbert Muhangi, Crime Intelligence’s Col. Atwoki Ndahura and ex Deputy Director CIID Geoffrey Musana as well as ASP Patrick Muramira, Agasirwe’s twice.
The extra-ordinary meeting happened for a cause. To trick Musana and Agasirwe come over with their ‘boys’ (Muramira and his colleagues with whom they tortured Kamwenge Mayor Geoffrey Byamukama), for arrest. It was as a result of a call from the Inspector General of Police, Gen. Kale Kayihura to Ochora, with instructions to act promptly.
The President, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni had instructed the torture masters’ arrest but the same had been suppressed by reportedly, Gen. Kayihura’s intervention, saying he would himself hand them in when he returned from Algeria. This stance reached the President who, reportedly fumed with anger before calling Kayihura with instructions to instantly have his boys arrested.
The reasons the duo (Musana and Agasirwe) were giving is that Muhangi provided the van and drivers that picked the Mayor from his friend’s office at Ministry of Lands. They also faulted him for ‘accepting’ to ‘receive’ a tortured suspect. On this note, Muhangi rose to announce that by the time Byamukama was arrested, him, and his squad had long left Nalufeenya.
On a point of order, Ochora ruled that the members present introduce selves plus the purpose for their attendance. “Excuse me (addressing Musana), every one of us represents a purpose. On which purpose are you in this meeting?” he asked Musana, with a successful mission of silencing him. He then turned to Aguma and ordered him to arrest the torture suspects, starting with the readily available Muramira.
At this point, Nickson rose in protest, saying if they want to arrest his men, he too should be arrested. Without mincing his words, the no-nonsense Ochora directed Aguma thus; “It’s okay, arrest him as well.” Like a disarmed soldier on gun point, Nickson slowly sunk back into his seat.
Speaking to the Investigator in the afternoon, Police spokesman Asan Kasingye confirmed the arrest of ASP Patrick Muramira, ASP Fred Tumuhiirwe and two other junior officers. “I can confirm the two officers’ arrest and that of two juniors. But there still others at large though I can’t readily avail their particulars,” he offered.
The investigator however can reveal that those still on the loose include among others, Moses Kasiba, Abel Tumukunde, Ronnie Byenkya, and Hajji Abdu Ssemuju aka Minaana. The group is accused of torturing Geoffrey Byamukama before the dragged him to the infamous Nalufeenya Detention/Torture Center for dead. He was later discovered by the Investigator rotting away at Nakasero Hospital from where, after our breaking story, he was returned to the dreadful center.
Definition of torture: According to The Prevention and Prohibition of Torture Act 2012, torture means any act or omission, by which severe pain or suffering whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of any person whether a public official or other person acting in an official or private capacity for such purposes as — obtaining information or a confession from the person, punishing that person for an act he or she has committed, or is suspected of having committed.
Article 24 of the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda provides that no person shall be subjected to any form of torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. Article 44(a) of the Constitution provides that notwithstanding anything in the Constitution, there shall be no derogation from the enjoyment of the freedom from torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment. A person who performs any act of torture as defined commits an offence and is liable on conviction to imprisonment for fifteen years or to a fine of three hundred and sixty currency points or both.