22 May 2019

Uganda: I Can't Allow Police 'Thugs' in My House - Minister Nantaba

Kampala — The minister of State for ICT, Ms Idah Nantaba, has rejected police invitation to record a fresh statement regarding the extrajudicial killing of a biker who was shot at point blank by police officers. The police officers reportedly acted on her claim that the deceased had been trailing her.

It was later discovered that the biker was a parent heading to a school to visit his children.

Ms Nantaba told Daily Monitor yesterday that she will not allow police officers, whom she described as "thugs", into her house to record an additional statement about the incident.

"I can't allow thugs in my house. They want to know what is in my bedroom. No!" Ms Nantaba said in an interview with Daily Monitor yesterday.

She was responding to police spokesman Fred Enanga's call to her to record a fresh statement with detectives on events that led to the execution of biker Ronald Ssebulime. He said Nantaba's first statement about the incident was not done by detectives and fell short of the required standards.

But Ms Nantaba wondered why Mr Enanga could say her first statement wasn't professionally done when CID director Grace Akullo recorded it.

"Is Enanga saying that [Ms] Akullo isn't qualified [to record a statement]?" Ms Nantaba asked.

She said Ms Akullo talked to her at her home for two days. "I can only talk to [Ms] Akullo".

However, Mr Enanga yesterday said Ms Akullo did not record a statement from Ms Nantaba and described the minister's claim as a fabrication.

"It is a lie," he stated.

After Ssebulime's killing, Ms Akullo summoned Nantaba to CID headquarters at Kibuli in Kampala to record a statement, but she declined, saying President Museveni had ordered her to stay home.

She instead suggested that detectives should go to her home in Kayunga District to record her statement, which invitation the police flatly rejected.

On Monday, Mr Enanga also stated that the call records from Cpl Edward Ssali's phone didn't show he received orders from a superior officer to kill Ssebulime as had been claimed by Ms Nantaba.

Yesterday, Nantaba insisted she was in possession of a police preliminary report written on March 29, which indicated that Cpl Ssali shot Ssebulime after talking on phone with a superior commander. Cpl Ssali was the police patrol commander who is said to have shot Ssebulime. He was charged with murder and remanded.

"The report indicated that this man, after talking on phone, ordered the shooting of the suspect. It is their report," she said.

Background

The saga. On March 24, Ms Nantaba, driving her official car on Kayunga Road, accused Ssebulime of trailing her. She reported to police, prompting a pursuit of Ssebulime, who was subsequently arrested and shot dead by police.

Police later admitted he was an innocent person. Ms Nantaba yesterday insisted Ssebulime was part of the State agents baying for her blood. She claimed police killed Ssebulime to destroy evidence of his motives.

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