Amama Mbabazi has taken the side of his former rival in The Democratic Alliance [TDA] joint presidential candidate, Kizza Besigye, following his mistreatment by police.
“I condemn the wilful police brutality meted out against the FDC Presidential aspirant Dr. Kizza Besigye and his colleagues of FDC this past Saturday on their way to a public meeting in Rukungiri,” Amama wrote in a short statement.
Police threw tyre shredders in the road crashing about 10 cars belonging to FDC politicians as Besigye’s convoy headed to Rukungiri for a rally.
Besigye was arrested and detained at Kaguta Road police station while his entourage was all rounded up and thrown in jail at Lyantonde police station.
“There is no excuse whatsoever for this police violence,” Mbabazi points out.
“We call on Government to rein in the state police who have been brutalising the innocent public.”
Mbabazi was also shocked by the way police handled Naigaga Fatuma, a woman they allegedly undressed.
“Additionally, the shameful treatment of women by the police that same day is indefensible and should never happen again.”
According to Mbabazi, it is the duty of the police to protect and serve all Ugandans, as well as to ensure the equal application of the rule of law and the respect for the human rights of all citizens.
“Without this, there can be no true democracy.”
Equally alarmed was the Democratic Party President, Norbert Mao, who says there will be a reckoning for perpetrators of brutality.
“I salute the Constitutional Court for stating clearly that individuals who violate human rights of citizens will no longer hide behind the defence of superior orders. They will have to answer personally.”
Constitutional Court ruled that police officers and other state agents implicated in violation of human rights of suspects will be held liable as individuals and not as institutions.
A panel of five Judges led by Justice Augustine Nshimye also directed the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to investigate a case in which a couple based in Mbarara is accusing two officers of the disbanded Rapid Response Unit (RRU) of alleged torture, seizure of property and money worth millions of shillings.
“…the time has come for legal practitioners to consider in cases of this nature adding as parties the perpetrators, and their supervisors of challenged actions in their personal capacity so that they can face civil consequences for their wilful disregard of the fundamental rights and freedoms of the people of this country,” court held in a unanimous decision.
Mao says they [opposition] too can be violent but they choose to use peaceful means to bring about change.
“That does not mean the regime will be peaceful. In fact the regime will be extremely brutal.”
He added: “Am I willing to die for my beliefs? Yes! Am I willing to kill for my beliefs? No!”