14 October 2015

Uganda: Kinkizi Bishops Condemn Police Brutality

Kanungu — Kinkizi Diocese bishops have condemned acts of brutality inflicted on Opposition FDC presidential flag bearer Kizza Besigye and his supporters.

Their condemnation follows the blocking of Dr Besigye's supporters and the FDC team from travelling to Rukungiri last weekend. Bishop Dan Zoreka, and his predecessor, Bishop emeritus John Wilson Ntegyereize, said police should desist from acts that undermine human dignity.

"I was 16 years when we got independence but even under colonial rule I never saw this," said Bishop Ntegyereize. He was speaking during celebrations to mark Bishop Zoreka's five years of service as bishop of Kinkizi.

The ceremony was held at Kinkizi High School in Kanungu District. The bishop was reacting to the mistreatment by police of members of Dr Besigye's entourage on Mbarara-Masaka road last Saturday. A video footage shows police officers dragging Ms Zainab Fatumah on tarmac and undressing her as they bundled her onto a police pickup truck.

However, Rwizi region police commander Hilary Kulaige, who was at the scene, told the media that the woman undressed herself. This is the same explanation given by the police spokesperson Mr Fred Enanga.

"State machinery should not handle those with divergent views in inhumane and cruel manner," said Bishop Zoreka.

Businessman Caesar Mulenga, who was the guest of honour, said there is a lot of impunity in the country and it is not only by security agencies. "It is everyone's responsibility to restore glory of humanity in the country," said Mr Mulenga.

The State minister for Health, Dr Chris Baryomunsi, and Kanungu Resident District Commissioner Harriet Nakamya, said government institutions, including police, are striving to respect human rights.

Bishop Zoreka was commended for his visionary leadership, especially in uniting people towards development as well as his fight for human rights.


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