Judge Margret Oguli Oumo has on Thursday ordered that the 22 tortured suspects in the murder of former police spokesperson Andrew Felix Kaweesi, be compensated Shs80 million each.
Justice Margret Oguli ruled that the said suspects were badly tortured while in custody and their rights violated.
This follows the suspects’ lawyer Ladislaus Rwakafuzi filed an application in court demanding that government makes a medical examination to verify the cause of injuries they had.
In her ruling, the judge stated that Detective Superintendent of Police Olal Johnson, the investigating officer in the matter never denied holding the applicants for more hours but said that they were detained for long because they were known to be violent offenders. The court also found loopholes in Olal’s claims that the suspects were peacefully arrested because he was not the arresting officer, and knew nothing about the arrest.
The suspects told court that they were arrested from their homes and unlawfully detained in military custody before being transferred to the dreaded Nalufenya Police Station in Jinja District which is reputed for torture.
They further told court that they had not received sufficient treatment for the wounds.
Kaweesi was gunned down with his bodyguard and driver on March 17 this year as he left his home in Kulambiro. The gunmen made off with his pistol and the escort’s gun.
Many suspects were arrested and remanded but when they later appeared in court, most of them had wounds they claimed were inflicted on them by security officers while in custody.
Ironically, Uganda’s government does not have redundant money as they have to collect tax thus ordering it to compensate men it tortured means taxing citizens some more for its own crimes.
The Inspector General of Police (IGP), Gen Kale Kayihura this year petitioned the Speaker of Parliament, Ms Rebecca Kadaga, over budget cuts and among other challenges highlighted among the problem of perennial underfunding to the Uganda Police Force. The police budget was reduced from Shs612b in year 2014/15 to Sh516b in the current Financial Year and that in the 2017/18 budget, the police budget was further cut to Shs506b.