MPs: Kayihura Apology is an Admission of Guilt

4255 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
Fort Portal Municipality MP Alex Ruhunda says the apology was long overdue and offers no solution. Butambala County MP Muwanga Kivumbi describes IGP Kayihuras apology as an admission guilt. Anthony Akol, the Kilak North MP says the best Kayihura can do for the country is to resign as Inspector General of Police.

The recent apology by Inspector General of Police Kale Kayihura has received mixed reactions from legislators with some describing it as an admission of guilt while others say it is a step in the right direction.
While in Mbale over the weekend, IGP Kayihura publicly apologised over police brutality against civilians following publication of gruesome pictures of suspects tortured by police officers. The published pictures were for suspects arrested in connection to the shooting dead of three police officers including former police spokesperson, Assistant Inspector General of Police Andrew Felix Kaweesi.
Kaweesi, his driver Godfrey Mambewa and bodyguard Kenneth Erau, were gunned down on the morning of March 17 this year in Kulambiro, a suburb of Kampala.
Police launched a massive investigation to find and apprehend the killers. In the process, dozens of people were arrested and detained at the Jinja-based Nalufenya Special Detention facility. It is from here that pictures of tortured suspects emerged.
The gruesome pictures sparked off condemnation from the public and parliament which called for the prosecution of police officers involved in the torture. 
President Yoweri Museveni later wrote a letter to his security chiefs warning them against torturing suspects to obtain confessions.
On Sunday, while speaking to civilians at Nauyo Primary School in Mbale, Kayihura asked people to forgive police for using excessive force when executing their duties.
His apology has now raised reactions from legislators with Butambala County MP Muwanga Kivumbi describing it as an admission to police brutality.
Kivumbi said that Ugandans need fewer apologies from IGP Kayihura but justice against police officers who torture suspects.  He also demanded police fairness to all Ugandans arrested citing their immediate production before the courts in line with the laws of the land.   
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Anthony Akol, the Kilak North MP also noted that Kayihura's apology does not suggest any solution to brutality exhibited by the police force.  According to Akol, the best thing Kayihura can do for the country is to resign as Inspector General of Police since his apology is an admission of guilt.
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The MP said that it is time for the appointing authority to act since Kayihura has proven that torture of suspects is happening.
President Museveni recently renewed Kayihura's contract for another three years. Should he see out his contract, Kayihura will have served for 15 years at the helm of the police force.
But Akol explains why the Police Force needs a new boss.
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However, Kumi Woman MP Monica Amoding welcomes the apologetic message from the police chief saying it is a step in the right direction given the pressure mounted on the force.
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Alex Ruhunda, the Fort Portal Municipality MP says that Kayihura's apology was long overdue noting that it is a big embarrassment to preside over an institution which portrays a bad image.
"I commend him for coming out to publicly to apologize but that is not enough. We want the culprits to be brought to book because we have seen many trigger-happy security personnel." said Ruhunda.
He said that an apology will do little if the police force is not cleaned up to ensure that indisciplined officers are dealt with.
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About the author

Olive Nakatudde
Olive Nakatudde is a URN journalist based in Kampala. Nakatudde has been a URN staff member since 2013.

Nakatudde started out in journalism in 2009 with Dembe FM radio in Kampala. In 2012, Nakatudde joined Voice of Africa as a political reporter. She has been a photographer since her journalism school days at Makerere University.

Nakatudde is interested in good governance and public policy, which she reports on intensively from the Uganda Parliament. She is a keen follower of cultural affairs in Buganda Kingdom and covers the kingdom's Lukiiko (parliament). Nakatudde also reports on education and health.