This is to give account of two incidents, last Tuesday, 12th and Wednesday, 13th July 2016 in the outskirts of the city center, in which the engaged rowdy crowds that were involved in illegal possessions that were aimed at blocking Kampala- Gayaza road, and Entebbe road respectively, when Col Dr Kizza Besigye was driving along the respective roads.
In the first place, we had got intelligence that there were plans to cause disruption in the city, disrupt business in the city and its suburbs during and after the High Court bail application hearing of Col Dr Kizza Besigye, and when he appeared at Nakawa court last Wednesday.
Accordingly, in both situations, we made precautionary deployments at the respective courts, along the routes approaching the courts, as well as in the central Business District to counter the plans about their business without fear. We succeeded in our efforts, However, in the process, two incidents happened. In the first incident near Kalerwe market, while Col Dr Kizza Besigye was driving from the High Court after the bail application hearing, and going towards Kasangati, attracted rowdy and violent crowds by standing in his open roof vehicle waving his party symbol, in what turned out to be an illegal procession.
The Police, in the effort to disperse the crowds and clear the road for other motorists as they escorted Col Dr Kizza Besigye to his home, charged at the crowd resulting in incidents that were selectively broadcast on TV stations. In the second incident along Salaama road, approaching Entebbe, another crowd was stopped from following the convoy of Col Dr Kizza Besigye, which would have resulting in blockage of Entebbe road. Again, in the effort to disperse the crowd, the Police charged at the crowd, and again selective images were broadcast on TV stations.
Following what happened, I, immediately, instructed the Commandant, Professional Standards Unit to investigate the two incidents, and has begun the investigations. I want to assure the public that whoever will have been found to be in the wrong will face disciplinary action. I, also, assure members of the public that we are to put in place measures to ensure that the Police, while performing the duty, do so, professionally, and with sensitivity. Having said the above, however, and being mindful that the Police must at all times conduct ourselves professionally, I wish to point out that whoever judges the Police conduct in the two incidents, should not lose focus of the fact that Col Dr Kizza Besigye, in spite of the clear conditions on his bail, has declared that he intends to continue with his defiance campaign, which without a doubt puts him on a collision course with the Police as a law enforcement agency.
In fact, even as we talk, there are plans of activities in Masaka, Mbarara, Rukungiri and Kabale aimed at continuing the defiance campaign. We call upon members of the public, especially the youth to refuse to be used in these unlawful activities, which puts them in harm’s way. Otherwise, we regret any incident that puts harms or disturbs members of the public.
Gen Kale Kayihura
Inspector general of Police
14th July 2016