KAMPALA – MPs have asked the commander of the Special Forces Command (SFC) to investigate claims that security personnel deployed to assist in efforts to track the kidnappers of Maria Nagirinya and her driver ended up soliciting money from the relatives.
According to the Mityana Municipality MP Francis Zaake Butebi, there is audio and video evidence of the security officers asking for money from the relatives before embarking on the process of tracking the kidnappers. This they say is what slowed down the process of looking for the kidnappers.
“It is particularly disturbing that even when relatives of the victims call or approach police for help, the officers on duty always ask for money to “facilitate the investigations” or “rescue” the victims. Those who don’t have the money go unhelped, yet even those who pay the money tend to suffer a similar fate. We all remember the case of Susan Magara,” Mr Zaake said during plenary on Tuesday.
“I watched Asan Kasingye telling the country yesterday that Police’s emergency numbers are always on for people in imminent danger to reach out to the field commanders. I have just dialed police’s emergency number 999, but for almost two minutes I just heard a voice saying all officers are unavailable. Rt. Hon. Speaker, can we have statements from the Minister of Internal Affairs; Minister of Security as well as the Prime Minister to explain these anomalies? Our people are tired of living in fear!” he added.
In response, Internal Affairs Minister Gen. Jeje Odong promised to return to Parliament with a statement about the murders.
The country is still recovering from the recent kidnap and subsequent murder of Maria Nagirinya and Richard Kitayimbwa whose bodies were discovered in Mukono.
A similar incident was registered last month in Kajjansi when a resident of the area, Mr. James Kalumba, was kidnapped from his home and later murdered. His body was discovered on a Sunday, dumped in a nearby trench.
On Monday, Police said they have arrested 15 of its officers who are said to have reluctantly failed to respond to a kidnap case of Nagirinya and her driver.
Addressing journalists in Kampala on Monday, police spokesman Fred Enanga said they believe several officers involved in this investigation acted negligently and were complacent.
“As a result, the Uganda Police Professional Standards Unit has arrested over 15 officers,” he said.