KAMPALA – Government and the public have tasked the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Martins Okoth Ochola and other security chiefs to hunt and identify a group of armed men in civilian clothes who were recorded in a video severely beating a man before bundling him into a waiting taxi and speeding off.
Social media was Thursday night and Friday awash with fury over the impunity and callousness of the abductors.
Frank Tumwebaze, the Minister for ICT and National Guidance has also demanded the arrest and identification of the culprits saying that “anybody acting illegally should be dealt with in accordance with the law.”
“Police should investigate them,” Tumwebaze twitted.
The @PoliceUg should investigate them. Anybody acting illegally should be dealt with in accordance with the law. For ur info, some of us r suspicious of such if they aren’t schemes of anti-govt plotters to tarnish the name of @NRMOnline . @OkothOchola1 we demand to know these ! https://t.co/oKi96b0fRn
— Frank K Tumwebaze,MP (@FrankTumwebazek) October 19, 2018
According to the video captured by Record TV, one man who was identified as Yusuf Kawooya but Police would later deny knowledge of Kawooya’s tormentors.
Human Rights lawyer Nicholas Opiyo on Twitter alleged that the men belong to Police Flying Squad.
The individuals involved in this video are from Room 75 CPS [Central Police Station] Kampala. They work with the Uganda Police Flying Squad,” twitted Opiyo.
The individuals involved in this video are from Room 75 CPS Kampala. They work for the Flying Squad. We have the names of the two beating Yunus Kawooya, the suspect. When we verify this information, we will make them public and pursue them rigorously @AKasingye @PoliceUg pic.twitter.com/WqOJpNRxWY
— Nicholas Opiyo (@nickopiyo) October 19, 2018
Opio added that “We have positively identified two of them. We are verifying their details and as soon as we do, we will not only make it public but also commence processes to have them prosecuted.”
Journalist Andrew Mwenda described the armed men as “goons who behave like thieves from the 15th century in the 21st century.”
“Who employs them to roam the streets? This impunity is too much! The fact that they don’t even think of doing such horrible things in the cover of darkness or in a remote safe house is revealing,” he remarked.
Who are these goons who behave like 15th century thugs in the 21st century!!?? Who employs them to roam the streets? This impunity is too much! The fact that they don’t even think of doing such horrible things in the cover of darkness or in a remote safe house is revealing. https://t.co/vsdTNoIwRq
— Andrew M. Mwenda (@AndrewMwenda) October 19, 2018
Also, former FDC President Col Dr. Kizza Besigye said such incidents are the reason “all people of good will should join hands to bring a quick end to the NRM/M7 Junta in Uganda.”
Kampala Metropolitan Police spokesman Luke Owoyesigire said the armed men were unlikely to be part of the police force.
He said Police doesn’t use public transportation vehicles during its operations.
Government spokesman Ofwono Opondo also said the perpetrators would be found and brought to book.
“Investigations are underway to establish who and from which security agency if at all they belong to government,” he reassured.
However, Minister Tumwebaze said government doesn’t cover up criminals and that “Some of us are suspicious of such if they aren’t schemes of anti-government plotters to tarnish the name of NRM.”