A group of protesters freely stormed court premises in Uganda’s capital Kampala expressing solidarity with embattled Inspector General of Police (IGP) Kale kayihura.
This is one of the rarest incidents in Uganda’s history of (political) dissent.
Court summoned the IGP and seven other senior officers to answer torture charges slapped against them by private prosecutors in connection with the brutality committed against supporters of Opposition leader Dr Kizza Besigye.
Protesters who turned up at the court carrying placards reportedly turned rowdy and charged at people purported to be in support of the case as police watched. A car belonging to one of the prosecution lawyers was vandalized.
Uganda Police has a history of brutality on (peaceful) protesters especially those who tend to champion causes initiated by the nation’s Political opposition.
Stick welding police officers were filmed beating up the former presidential candidate supporters, a thing which has sparked criticism from the country’s human rights campaigners and later the brutality charge sheet.
However, in a dramatic turn of events, three prosecution witnesses pulled out claiming they were bribed to swear affidavits implicating the police officers.
The three; Andrew Sebitosi, Rogers Ddiba and Joseph Kaddu, are part of the five witnesses that swore affidavits claiming they were tortured by police officers who were dispersing Besigye supporters.
“It is Daniel Walyemera (lawyer) who gave us the money. I can’t be party to the case against Gen Kayihura who has done good things for this country. I love my country and I can’t do that,” Kaddu told local media.
Daniel Walyemera leads the team of lawyers in the case he said the three have no evidence to prove their claims. He said the witnesses could have been bought off by the accused persons to fail the case.
“Let them prove that they were bribed. I have letters signed by them instructing me to proceed with legal action. Just ask them whether it is me who signed those letters,” Walyemera said.
“They can’t kill the case. They should go and read the Anti-Torture Act again. It states that someone else can sue on behalf of the tortured victim. I have affidavits of the torture victims. I am going to swear an affidavit that I am suing on their behalf. The case isn’t dead yet,” he added.
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