statement released by the Uganda Police Force, signed by Fred Enanga on behalf of the joint security taskforce spokespersons states that the leadership of both the UPDF and UPF strongly condemns gross acts of misconduct by their officers who, instead of protecting the constitutional and civil rights of citizens, violated them with the excessive use of force.
It is apparent that the statement is a solicited effort aimed at sanitising forces whose gross misconduct during the implementation of the Presidential directive removed any benefit of doubt over their already shaky integrity.
Sadly, the police and UPDF joint statement cherry picks the incident of Elegu town in Amuru District on April 2, to make it look like an isolated case of misconduct by the Uganda Police, UPDF and LDUs personnel.
The statement is an insult to the many Ugandans all over Uganda, especially in Kampala who have borne the brunt of high handed and indiscipline security forces that beat, kicked and even shot Ugandans with impunity, leaving many nursing high degree injuries to which some even succumbed.
The violence meted out on Ugandans all over the country and yet the statement only chooses to mention the 38 victims of the Elegu incident, which was only the tip of the iceberg.
Clearly, The UPDF and Uganda Police only choose which cases to investigate and which ones to ignore, depending on whether the incident has been exposed by media or not. In the same dishonest spirit, the UPDF CDS Gen David Muhoozi a week ago ordered his soldiers to round up women who had been battered on different TV cameras, who were delivered to him ‘to apologise.’
However, gross incidents of violence affected a large spectrum of Ugandans, including downtown vendors, journalists and many others who were caught in a frenzied, ill coordinated military, police and LDU operation, ostensibly aimed at enforcing the President’s directives on the control of Coronavirus Pandemic.
The UPDF and Police forces should know that half-hearted apologies and dishonest statement will not heal the injuries they inflict on Ugandans. Neither will the poor PR stunts cleanse the forces of their inherent inclination towards violence against unarmed Ugandans as the automatic instinct. The remedy lies in the total overhaul of the UPDF, Police and their side-kicks, the LDUs. Failure to do this urgently, there is nothing that can save the security forces from their plummeting reputation.