The police must get serious or else doubts about their investigative competence in the assassination of Andrew Kaweesi will grow more serious than before.
Since the murder of the former police spokesman, detectives have arrested a dozen suspects. There are already doubts among the public on whether the actual killers are among the suspects in detention or they are out there walking free.
But what is more intriguing is the arrest of 12 children, including a two-year-old toddler of Rashid Mbaziira, one of the suspects. They have been in police detention since March without a logical reason.
This mystery has been escalated by the police’s changing statements about the motive of the arrest of the children, including the two-year old. Initially, police feigned ignorance about the whereabouts of the children. Later on Monday, Kampala Metropolitan Police spokesman Emilian Kayima admitted the children were in police custody and that arrangements were being made to release them.
He claimed police took them after their parents were arrested and they were left without anybody to care for them. First of all, police cannot claim to provide better protection or care for the children than their aunts and uncles. But that aside, a day later, the story changed. Police said they needed to carry out a DNA test on the children purportedly to establish their paternity. This implies the children were arrested for a different motive other than providing protection and care for them as the Force initially claimed.
Besides the blatant violation of their basic human rights, their arrest and detention cast serious doubts about the police’s commitment or competence in tracking and apprehending Kaweesi’s killers.
It’s incomprehensive what the Force intends to achieve from the DNA tests. It raises serious questions about the professionalism of our police. What is the purpose? How will the DNA test help the Force catch the killers? What value does the DNA add to the investigations? Why are the children detained and for this long? Are they suspects, witnesses, accomplices of “friends of police” to help in investigations? What does a two-year-old toddler have to do with Kaweesi’s murder?
The police must clearly provide answers to all these questions to the public. Otherwise, the arrest of the children and their DNA tests suggest the Force is clueless about the killers and are simply arresting any one they come across to create an impression that they are doing some work to catch Kaweesi’s assassins.
The issue: Kaweesi murder investigations
Our view: The police must clearly provide answers to all questions the public is asking, including why toddlers were arrested.