KAMPALA – Court has ordered the government to compensate a man who was shot and injured by a drunken policeman in Masaka as compensation for causing the victim permanent physical disability.
Justice Musa Ssekaana of the High Court ordered the government to pay Vicent Kaggwa UGX 50million as general damages, UGX 100m as loss of earnings, special damages UGX 131.7m and UGX 15m as exemplary damages.
“The plaintiff is awarded interest at a rate of 15 percent special damages from the date of filing the suit until payment in full and 10 percent on general damages, loss of earnings from the date of judgement until payment in full,” the judge ordered.
In 2014, Mr Kaggwa a husband to deputy RDC Theopista Mbabazi sued the Attorney General seeking compensation, general damages, special damages, exemplary damages interest and costs of the suit for the injuries suffered as a result of the negligent, wanton, callous, unjustified and illegal acts of police officers who shot and severely injured him.
Records show that on June 3 2013, a drunken police officer who was on foot patrol identified as No. 50595, Corporal Angura shot Mr Kaggwa.
This incident was verified by the area DPC Martin Akuyo who profoundly apologized for the unfortunate incident.
Court heard that Mr Kaggwa suffered permanent double incontinence, a permanent urinary catheter in situ and permanently uses diapers as a result of multiple gunshots to his chest and back, leading to fractures of the right 4th and 5th ribs. He also sustained a hemopneumothorax and spinal injury.
Justice Ssekaana ruled that police officer acted wantonly, without any level of caution nor any justification and in circumstances where the shooting was unreasonable, unnecessary and uncalled for.
“The part of the plaintiff’s body that was hit while still seated in the car-the chest, right through the spine, is of itself suggestive of the fact that the gun was aimed at hitting him rather than scaring him off. This is an appropriate case where the plaintiff establishes a prima facie case by relying upon the fact of the accident,” Justice Ssekaana ruled.
According to court it is also clear what the circumstances surrounding the fateful shooting are.
“There is no evidence of probable cause to believe that the plaintiff posed a threat of serious physical harm, either to the law enforcement officer who fired the shots or to others or that he engaged in any apparently threatening conduct,” the judge ruled.
Justice Ssekaana agreed with Mr Kaggwa’s evidence showing that the police officer who shot him had been on foot patrol to the knowledge of the DPC.
He said that the evidence stands uncontroverted which clearly proves that the negligent police officers were operating within the scope of their duty and as such the Defendant is vicariously liable for their tortious actions.