Last Friday, Research and Situation Analysis at the Police Command and Staff College, Bwebajja, in Wakiso District, the Minister in charge of Police,Obiga Kania, told policemen and policewomen that their brutality towards Ugandans had discredited the institution.
‘You must work hard to restore citizen’s trust just like President Museveni has done in the army. When I have a problem, I should run to the police for help’, he said.
Earlier, the ruling NRM Chief Whip Ruth Nankabirwa, while strongly condemning the growing police brutality, demanded that the errant officers needed to be held responsible for their difficult to watch behavior:
‘When I watched the video of police beating up people standing on the roadsides, I felt so bad and ashamed. Police actions are wrong and the commanding officers plus those who beat up people must be held accountable.’
She wasn’t done: ‘This is not about the NRM government; it is about the individuals in charge of police who are becoming bad’. The Government spokesperson Ofwono Opondo weighed in and blamed the recent police brutality as an act orchestrated by police operation commanders who are simply abusing their office.
Some leaders, concerned about the damage police brutality was doing to their ruling party, appealed for Divine Intervention. And on Sunday, The Secretary General of the NRM, Justine Lumumba, went to Waluleta shrines in Luweero District where Kampala Archbishop Cyprian Kizito Lwanga was attending the unveiling of St Kizito’s birth place as a religious tourist site and requested him to talk to Inspector General of Police General Kale Kayihura about the ‘increasing police brutality’.
She is then quoted by the media to have said, ‘The head of Police is a Catholic and I think Church leaders need to talk to him on some of these issues’. This government concern follows many incidences in which the police has brutally punished members and supporters of opposition parties especially Dr Kiiza Besigye, the founder of the FDC party – the biggest opposition party.
The government seems to have woken up to the reality that the police brutality is hurting the support of the ruling NRM. But it’s not only those mentioned above that have expressed shock and consternation about the police brutality in Uganda, people and human rights organisations all over the world have condemned the brutality being meted on Ugandans who support other parties other than the ruling party. If truth be told, the Police of Uganda has progressively become the face of Pain.
They have acquired mean-looking vehicles to instill fear, and they dress their ‘terror-inflicting forces in black and camouflage instead of the colours that used to humanize them as a protective force. And they have succeeded in terrorising us with their sirens on the roads and on the roadsides.
But remember, what goes around comes around.