12 December 2018

Uganda: Army Still Holding Kayihura Aides 6 Months After Arrest

Kampala — Uganda People's Defence Forces is still detaining at least six police officers and one soldier who are deemed close associates of former Inspector General of Police, Gen Kale Kayihura, for half a year without trial and for unknown offences.

The officers are Lt Col Peter Musherure, ACP Herbert Muhangi (former Flying Squad Unit commander), SSP Richard Ndaboine (former head of Police Cyber Crime Unit), AIP Jonas Ayebaze, Sgt Abel Tumukunde (an operative in the disbanded Special Operations Unit) and Judas Tadeo, a driver of ACP Jonathan Baroza, who was the personal assistant to Gen Kayihura.

They were arrested between June 11 and 13 this year. Only Col Ndahura Atwooki, the former director of police crime intelligence, was arraigned and charged in a military court.

Relatives of the detained officers said they don't know where their relatives are or the offences against them.

Asked why the army is still detaining the officers without trial for this long, the UPDF spokesman, Brig Richard Karemire, yesterday said investigations against them are not yet complete.

Background

In August, their boss Gen Kayihura was also arrested and charged in the General Court Martial with two counts of failing to protect war materials contrary to section 122(1) (2) (d) of the UPDF Act and aiding the kidnap and repatriation of Rwandan nationals. He was later granted bail by the same court.

In June when President Museveni was delivering his State of Nation address described their arrest as a purge of wrong elements whom he branded as "bean weevils" who had infested the Police Force.

The relatives of the detained officers say they are undergoing financial hardships since their family breadwinners cannot fend for them.

The army had confiscated the officers' bank ATM cards and mobile phones. However, recently they petitioned the Uganda Human Rights Commission and the chairperson Mr Med Kaggwa compelled the Force to hand over ATM cards to the relatives.

Col Ndahura's daughter, Ms Peace Alinda, said: "Those who were at school have dropped out. We don't know what is going on because our father has never been charged with any offence."

Ms Evas Natukunda, the wife to ACP Muhangi, said: "He was the family breadwinner. Since his arrest, I have been struggling to put food on the table and even educate our children. They should release him on bond or bail as they investigate cases so that he can look after his family."

SSP Ndaboine's wife Anne Mercy Ndaboine, too said she has no job but has three dependants.

Lt Col Musherure's son, Mr Comrade Muzoora, said: "The person they say he was working for, was given bail in court. Why don't they also release our relatives on bail if there is a case against them?"

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