The police are holding eighteen people including six police officers on charges of robbery and malicious damage to property, following the destruction of four houses and a banana plantation in Nalubudde, Kajjansi, belonging to squatters.
Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Philemon Ameru, the Officer in Charge (O/C) of Kajjansi Police Station and his colleague Detective ASP Richard Mwijukye, the OC CID, are being held together with four police constables at the Katwe Police Station, for practically participating in the eviction exercise. Other people arrested include Ivan Mugerwa of Namasuba, Ronald Kasozi, Isaac Kitimbo, Fred Mawejje and David Ssemanda, and according to Mr Onyango police also received complaints of people being beaten, loss of money and damage to general property.
According to the spokesperson for Kampala Metropolitan Police Patrick Onyango, trouble began when a one David Katumba received a court order for the vacant possession of one acre of land which he bought from one Rose Naganda.
Onyango said Katumba’s court order was cleared by police headquarters, but that the evictors had to follow guidelines issued by the ‘overseer’ of the eviction, the District Police Commander, before effecting the order.
‘Giving vacant possession court orders, the DPC is not supposed to delegate the role of over seeing the exercise. In this situation, the DPC delegated the role to OC CID and OC Station, he will also have to a record statement,’ Mr Onyango noted.
He also noted that police officers deployed for evictions are tasked only to witness, keep law and order and that they should not in any way participate in the exercise.
‘It is the mandate of Uganda police to protect property and not destroy it. We are charging the suspects with malicious damage to property and robbery,’ he said of the arrested officers.
Mr Onyango further noted that the Police should ensure that any execution is carried out peacefully and that should the exercise turn violent, it be called off or halted for further consultations.