The Criminal Investigations Directorate (CID) has taken up the case in which Uganda’s ambassador to Burundi, Maj. Gen. Matayo Kyaligonza, is alleged to have slapped a female Police officer. The CID, through the Police leadership, have lined up Kyaligonza for grilling and recording of a statement in connection with the matter.
The internal affairs ministry has sent summons to Kyaligonza through the foreign affairs ministry over charges of assault and wrongful obstruction of an officer on duty. Efforts to get a comment from the foreign affairs ministry were unsuccessful by press time. In her recorded statement, Sergeant Esther Namaganda says Kyaligonza slapped her after she stopped his vehicle for flouting traffic rules. Kyaligonza made a U-turn at Seeta junction in Mukono along the Kampala-Jinja highway.
Following the incident on Sunday, social media was awash with a short video clip showing Kyaligonza, who also doubles as the vicechairperson western region of the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM), together with his bodyguards clad in military Police uniform, roughing up Namaganda. The army regretted the incident and announced the arrest of Kyaligonza’s bodyguards Peter Bushindiki and Pte John Robert Okurut for beating up Namaganda. The Police also condemned the act against Namaganda and congratulated her on the restraint she exhibited.
Namaganda, a mother of five, was born in 1968, joined the Uganda Police Force in 1989 as a Police Constable, rising through the ranks to become a sergeant and a senior traffic officer. Police spokesperson Fred Enanga described it as ‘an embarrassing incident’.
“This is one example of the risks all Police officers face as they work to protect the citizens they serve”.
Enanga said they (Police) had created two task teams to pursue the matter. The Kampala Metropolitan Police (KMP) traffic commander, Norman Musinga, has been tasked with probing the conduct of the driver for inconsiderate use of the road. Another team led by KMP CID commander John Del Olal is to probe charges of assault and wilful obstruction of an officer on official duty.
Traffic and Road Safety Police is headed by Assistant Inspector General of Police Steven Kasiima, while the CID boss is Grace Akullo. Addressing a weekly Police press conference, Enanga said the team would also investigate complaint of assault against UBC journalist, Peter Otai, as he allegedly captured the incident on video. According to Enanga, the team will jointly co-ordinate with the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI) to obtain statements from the two bodyguards already in military custody. Enanga said they were working with CMI to explore the possibility of charging the suspects before the court martial.
“As a matter of protocol, the team will, through the Police leadership, cause for the summoning of Kyaligonza through the Ministry of Internal Affairs on probable charges of assault and wrongful obstruction of an officer on duty,” said Enanga.
In her statement, Namaganda said: “At about 11:30am,the general (Kyaligonza) was driving from Kampala on Jinja highway, in a Land Cruiser Prado registration number BU 18 CMD 01 with his two guards, when he suddenly stopped at Seeta Junction, adjacent to Tuskys Supermarket and made a U-turn to head back to Kampala.
That is when I stopped the car that had two tinted windows.” She said one of the bodyguards called Okurut jumped out of the car and screamed at her asking where she had got the authority to stop their car.
“In a split second, as I was engaging Okurut, Kyaligonza and his other bodyguard were quickly approaching me in a threatening manner.”
Namaganda recounts that it is at this point that Police Constable William Aliku intervened to plead with the bodyguards, saying she should be handled gently, citing her advanced age.