Police Disciplinary Court yesterday convicted nine police officers, including three senior superintendents of police for beating Dr Kizza Besigye’s supporters on July 13. The officers were given punishments ranging from demotion to fines.
In the judgement read by Police Court chairman, Senior Commissioner of Police, Denis Odongpiny, two officers were reduced to the ranks of Superintendent of Police and Inspector of Police for neglecting their duties.
“Defaulter one (SSP Andrew Kaggwa) and Defaulter three (ASP Patrick Muhumuza) are sentenced to reduction in rank. Defaulter one to be reduced in rank from Senior Superintendent of Police to rank of Superintendent. Defaulter three (Muhumuza) to be reduced in rank from Assistant Superintendent of Police to Inspector of Police,” Mr Odongpiny said.
The same court also demoted Mr Moses Nanoka to the rank of Assistant Superintendent of Police.
Kaggwa, the former regional police commander for Kampala Metropolitan Police South; Mr Samuel Bamuzibire, the former Field Force Unit commander for Kampala Metropolitan Police; Nanoka, the former Wandegeya Division Police commander; and Muhumuza, the commander of Field Force operations at Katwe Division Police were accused of beating Dr Besigye supporters at Kalerwe and Najjanankumbi in Kampala in July 2016.
Police Constables, Willy Kalyango, Sula Kato, Moses Agaba, Dan Muhangi, Robert Wanjala and Mr Dan Tandeka, a crime preventer, were also accused of the same offences.
They were charged with unlawful or unnecessary exercise of authority contrary to Section 44 (1) Code 24 of the Police Act.
They were also charged with discreditable or irregular conduct contrary to Section 44 (1) Code 12 of the Police Act.
The three commanders were charged with neglect of their duties to prevent their officers from beating Dr Besigye’s supporters.
On the count of unlawful or unnecessary exercise of authority, the police court sentenced Kaggwa, Muhumuza, Kalyango, Kato, Agaba, Muhangi and one other to a fine of a third of their one month salary. But Mr Bamuzibire was acquitted of the offence.
The eight officers were also sentenced to severe reprimand for the count of discrediting the police image while Mr Bamuzibire was sentenced to reprimand.
The sentence of severe reprimand means that if the officer commits any other offence, he or she is dismissed, while a reprimand sentence means that an officer can be given a lighter sentence when he or she commits another offence.
The police court recommended to the police council to dismiss Mr Tandeka from the police and that he should never associate with the institution for 20 years.
The police court doesn’t have authority to dismiss an officer from the force, but can only recommend to the police council which has that authority.
The affected officers said they were going to appeal the judgement.