The issue: Defilement
Our view: The Force must always do what they are trained and paid to do - apprehend criminals and help the victims get justice.
On Monday, the President wrote to the Inspector General of Police, Gen Kale Kayihura and other security agencies, to stop the barbaric method of torturing suspects in order to extract evidence from them. It is a good move by the President although it would not have been necessary if the police and other security forces had been doing their work professionally. It’s unsustainable. How often shall the President have to issue warnings before our law enforcement authorities fulfill their constitutional mandate?
Just as the President was warning police to stop torturing suspects in custody, a woman was camping at Kira Police Station in Kampala seeking justice for her teenage sister who was defiled and impregnated by her husband, a person who ought to have protected her. Her future is bleak or totally shattered.
Police released the suspect despite the presence of the victim’s statement on the case file admitting defilement by the accused and the corroborative medical examination results confirming the victim’s revelations.
The police argued that the file was taken to the DPP but had not received sanction to take the suspect to court. They therefore they released him on bond purportedly to comply with the constitutional limit of 48 hours required to have taken a suspect to court.
Police cannot hide under pretence of upholding the Constitution, given its recent record. A police that torture suspects with all brutality to the extent of causing injuries cannot be bothered by the interruption of a suspect’s liberty beyond 48 hours.
The most plausible motivation to release the suspect could have been money. Officially, police bond is free of charge but as we all know, many police officers will not release a suspect without pay.
The released suspect returned home and chased away the victim and the wife. The woman was by yesterday still camping at the police station and vowed not to leave until she got justice. Should the President have to write to the IGP about this?
The police must always do what they are trained and paid to do – apprehend criminals and help the victims get justice – without anyone first raising an alarm in the media or crying to the President.