KAMPALA– Uganda’s Inspector General of Police, General Kale Kayihura, is expected to appear in the Makindye Chief Magistrate’s Court on August 10, to answer to charges of alleged torture.
Kayihura is charged alongside seven of his senior police commanders in connection with the recent brutality of Uganda’s opposition leader Kizza Besigye’s supporters, who were allegedly beaten by the police in Kampala, Uganda.
Ugandan Police Force spokesperson, Fred Enanga, on Monday said the force had not seen the criminal summons against the police chief and other senior officers.
Kayihura suspended the suspected police officers when the police brutality allegations surfaced.
This will be the first time Kayihura appears in court and a total of 20 private lawyers have been lined up to take on the military general-cum- police chief, Kayihura next week.
The lawyers who will prosecute the police boss and the seven senior police officers will be led by Abdallah Kiwanuka from Lukwago and Company Advocates. Other notable lawyers are the Makerere University lecturer Dr Kabumba Busingye, Jude Mbabali and Daniel Walyemera.
Asked to explain why a huge number of advocates are needed to prosecute a single case, Walyemera said the law professionals have decided to come out in big numbers to defend the rule of law which is being abused by the police.
Many legal practitioners reasoned that Kayihura, who is a lawyer by profession, failed to respect the rule of law for which he himself is a student.
Walyemera said that torture is a very serious offence which every lawyer and citizen should rise against and speak out about.
“Torture is a very serious offence and every Ugandan, especially lawyers and journalists and other professions must come up in big numbers to fight it,” Walyemera said.
“There is growing level of impunity with the Uganda Police Force to an extent that the police chief in a press conference justified torture.”
On Monday, Besigye’s personal assistant, Ingrid Turinawe, posted on her Facebook page urging Ugandans to turn up in their numbers to witness Kayihura answer to charges of torture.
“Please come! Watch Kifesi in the dock,” Turinawe wrote.
“Let us be there and let us keep time,” she added.
The word Kifesi is a Luganda word to mean lumpen who harass opposition supporters in Uganda.