Members of Parliament have cast a ‘vote’ of no confidence in the ability of Uganda Police Force to investigate crimes where it’s officials are involved, and proposed creation of a separate arm to investigate the cases.
Members were reacting to the progress report on the case where Bukonzo County West MP, Hon Godfrey Katubsabe Atkins accuses the security officials in Kasese district of an attempted assassination, aggravated robbery and humiliation.
The Minister of State for Internal Affairs, Hon Obiga Kania told the House on Thursday, 06 February 2020 that the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) had taken up the cause, conducted investigations and was about to forward the file to the Director Public Prosecutions (DPP).
Kayunga District Woman MP, Hon Idah Nantaba said the police that was alleged to have committed the offences cannot be the same body to investigate itself.
“A member told Parliament how they [police] put him at gun point, robbed him and undressed him and we are saying these people should be in their offices, their file be taken to DPP who will then order police to investigate the case. Is it in order for the minister of internal affairs to take a matter of such nature so casually?” Nantaba asked.
Nantaba called for an independent body to investigate the actions of the police.
“It is our role to regulate police according to the constitution; it is high time we considered amending the constitution to provide for an independent body to investigate crimes among the police,” said Nantaba
Obiga Kania riled the MPs when he said that the suspected officials were out on police bond at the scene of crime [Kasese] which MPs said would compromise witnesses and evidence.
“The Hon Member is still in the Unites States, he cannot go back to Kasese to the same armed people who attacked him, you cannot subject him to that” said the State Minister for Minerals, Hon Sarah Opendi.
Lyemiyaga County MP, Hon Theodore Ssekikubo said extending bond to suspects of aggravated robbery was unheard of, being a capital offense under penal code.
“This leaves this House suspicious of the cover up and if the minister continues in this manner, he is provoking this House and we cannot be taken for granted anymore,” he said.
The Maracha County MP, Hon Oguzu Denis Lee revealed that three weeks ago, a young boy in his constituency had been strangled in police cells with no explanation from Police .
Speaker Rebecca Kadaga expressed dissatisfaction with government’s failure to act on security officials who are implicated in criminal cases.
“Over the past three weeks, government has on this floor of Parliament said that if any member of the forces misbehaves they will take action, what action have you taken?” she asked.
Kadaga directed the Internal Affairs Minister to update Parliament on detailed progress of the case on Tuesday, 11 February 2020.