Police on the spot for torturing and harassment of locals

Hoima – Residents and local leaders in Bulindi town council in Kyabigambire sub county in Hoima district are demanding for the withdraw of security officers that were deployed in the area to avert crimes.

Recently, the local leaders and security resolved that police officers be deployed in the area after unknown people dropped threatening leaflets vowing to murder some residents and leaders including the Kyabigambire LCIII Chairperson Alex Mwesigwa, the sub county Speaker, Steven Adroko and Vice Chairperson Irene Nabadda among others.

Police and Uganda People’s Defense Force [UPDF] were deployed in the area but one month after the deployment, residents now want the security officers withdrawn on accusations of harassment and torture.

They claim that the security officers were deployed to provide security in the area but now they have turned to be a source insecurity.

The residents accused security officers for beating and extorting money from them. “I was beaten and injured by security officers as I was taking my child to the hospital at around 9pm, I tried to plead with them but they could not spare me” Fred Karubanga one of the victims explained his ordeal.

The locals made the demand for the withdraw of security from their area during a meeting that was organized by the Bugahya County Member of Parliament, Pius Wakabi and the Hoima district Speaker Swaibu Nyangabyaki in Bulindi.

Harriet Kaija another victim said, security deployed in the area to hunt for the criminal but they have failed and turned their guns on residents. She demanded that the security officers be withdrawn from the area to save the residents from the continued harassment.

Hoima district Speaker Swaibu Nyangabyaki said, several people have been tortured by security officers. He noted that a number of people in the area are nursing wounds that were inflicted on them by security officers adding that many others have lost hard earned money to corrupt security officers.

‘I do not want to sound like am inciting people, but the truth is that we no longer need your security officers in our sub-county, we can live without them because instead of protecting us they are torturing us” Swaibu Nyangabyaki told the District Police Commander [DPC].

MP Wakabi supported the resident’s demands noting that it was absurd that the officers deployed to keep peace; law and order are instead engaging in acts of criminality.

He said, residents in Bulindi town council, Kibugubya, Kitongole, Kisabagwa and Katongo villages have tested the wrath of the security officers saying the officers need to be punished.

“I survived being beaten by the officers when the OC of Bulindi police post Moses Kige told them that he is an MP. Otherwise, if the OC was not around, I was going to be beaten. Imagine if they can beat an MP how about the local person, they arrest people and ask them for money ranging from Shs 50,000 to Shs 100,000 to be released,” said Wakabi

The Hoima DPC, Ruth Nkamusima apologized for the indiscipline of her officers and promised to address the matter. She also asked the tortured victims to open up cases at police and promised that their issues will be investigated for justice to prevail. I apologize on behalf of security and I promise that the situation is going to change, we deployed security to keep peace but we did not deploy security to beat you” she apologized.

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