Journalist Andrew M. Mwenda is of the view that police should use deadly force on whoever attacks them while on duty.
“If a civilian violently assaults a police officer on duty and gets killed, the officer is exonerated on grounds of self-defense,” Mwenda wrote on March 12, 2016.
Mwenda was responding to the shooting and killing of six civilians by security forces in Kasese over the weekend.
Police chief Kale Kayihura said in a statemetnt, a joint motorized patrol of Police and UPDF, while patrolling lower Kendahi cell, Kikongo ward, Hima Town Council, was attacked by over 30 persons armed with machetes, knives and clubs.
Fourt soldiers were injured, two of them critically, and the attackers tried to grab their guns.
In self-defense, the patrol opened fire on the attackers, instantly killing two of them, and forcing the rest of them to flee.
The injured soldiers are Cpl Ssentongo Matia, L/Cpl Rwot Owengeyo, L/Cpl Katuramu Hannington, and L/Cpl Otube Moses.
On 11th March 2016, at around 1:00pm, a team of Police UPDF officers led by CP Opoloto Jacob, while on a pre-deployment assessment mission in Kasenyi village, Buhurira Sub County, was attacked by a group of about 20 youths, armed with machetes, knives and clubs.
They stabbed SPC Mbusa Joel, critically injuring and disarming him of hid firearm. They also stoned CP Opolot Jacob fracturing his right leg.
In self-defense, the team opened fire killing 4 attackers, and recovering the gun that had been taken from SPC Mbusa Joel.
The attackers who were killed are Kake Ezekiel, Bwambale Sajin, Wayakwa James and Kirerembwa Jokas.
According to Mwenda, police needs to make it clear to civilians that violent assaults on its officers will be met with deadly force.
“And I mean deadly force,” the journalist wrote.
He continued: “It does not matter whether the president is Museveni, Besigye or Kyalya.”
Mwenda says police officers’ first duty is to protect their lives. Uganda cannot send police officers into harm’s way for the good of everyone and ask them to get killed by violent mobs.