The Inspector General of Police, Kale Kayihura, has acknowledged that police used excessive force of opposition supporters during the campaign trail.
“He [Kayihura] acknowledged that in isolated incidents during the electoral campaigns especially involving supporters of the opposition the police could have acted due inappropriately in use of force,” police spokesperson, Fred Enanga said in a statement issued Monday.
“In such cases, the IGP confirmed that investigations were carried out, and appropriate disciplinary action was taken, including removing the responsible officers from their positions of appointment.”
Kayihura fired Sipi Regional Police commander, Gerald Twishime, for teargasing and injuring supporters when FDC candidate, Kizza Besigye, visited Bukwo IDPs camp.
He also fired Ronald Mugabi, the officer-in-charge of Central police Station [CPS] in Kampala for confiscating opposition FDC manifestos.
According to Enanga, Kayihura emphasized, however, that these incidents of unnecessary use of force were localized and sanctioned by himself or national commanded of the police.
Kayihura was meeting European Union ambassadors to clarify on some issues “misreported” by media as raised by international observers.
Kayihura denied making partisan statements saying the police would remain impartial in elections.
“We shall guarantee peaceful secure free and fair elections,” Kayihura told envoys.
“All parties should rest assured that the police is committed to act in a non-partisan way in order to ensure equal rights of all candidates and especially of the people of Uganda,” he promised.
Kayihura was quoted telling crime preventers that they [government] would not hand over power to opposition, the power they fought for.
He also promised to arm crime preventers with guns and ordered them to prepare for war.
The IGP further defined the role of crime preventers while denying the statements.
At the meeting were present two opposition leaning youth leaders, who pioneered this programme at Makerere university.
They described the positive role that the crime preventers had at the university and how well they were appreciated by communities, Enanga said.
“The youth leaders also explained how crime preventers programme too inspiration from a successful South Korean model of Neighborhood Watch.”
They assured EU ambassadors that they won’t engage in partisan politics.
Police also agreed to work with the UN Commissioner of Human Rights to ensure crime preventers conform to UN standards.