WEIGHING IN ON KAYIHURA PROSECUTION: City lawyer Nicholas Opiyo of Chapter Four, a civil society organisation, appearing on the 'Morning Breeze' talk show on NBS TV.

Two top city lawyers and the police spokesperson Fred Enanga have said that the police legal team cannot defend the Inspector General of Police General Kale Kayihura, who has been summoned by the Makindye Chief Magistrate’s court to answer to charges related to ‘police brutality’.

Last week, 20 lawyers led by Abdullah Kiwanuka instituted criminal proceedings against the IGP and other senior officers for reportedly failing to supervise their juniors who beat up Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) presidential flag bearer Dr Kizza Besigye’s supporters as they lined the Gayaza and Entebbe roads in the Kampala suburbs to welcome him from a two-month remand in Luzira maximum security prison.

DPP CAN INVESTIGATE THE MATTER: Top city lawyer Oscar Kihika, who also heads the National Resistance Movement (NRM) legal team. Photos/nbstv
DPP CAN INVESTIGATE THE MATTER: Top city lawyer Oscar Kihika, who also heads the National Resistance Movement (NRM) legal team. Photos/nbstv

Debating the matter the two lawyers, Mr Oscar Kihika, and Nicholas Opiyo noted that Gen Kayihura had been sued as an individual and that as such he cannot benefit from the services of the police legal team.

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“The Uganda Police legal team can’t defend Kayihura; he is in court as an individual. The police team doesn’t have such a mandate,” Mr Opiyo, who was appearing on NBS TV talk show ‘Morning Breeze’ alongside Mr Kihika, said.

Weighing in on debate Mr Kihika concurred with his ‘learned colleague’, noting that: ‘There’s no better exercise of the law and evidence on how far we have come than this Kayihura case’.

Mr Kihika further noted that this is not the first time a senior police officer has been dragged to court, adding however, that the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) could take over the case, investigate and establish whether there is enough evidence for prosecution to proceed.

‘This case will be an interesting addition to our jurisprudence; the DPP may decide to take over this prosecution given that this is a private case. That remains to be seen,’ Mr Kihika, who also heads the National Resistance Movement (NRM) legal team said, adding: ‘It’s no remarkable case; this has been done before. IGP going to court is not an indictment of the entire police force. This is not the first time a senior police officer has been dragged to court’.

And, contacted for comment on the matter police spokesperson Enanga reiterated their legal team would in no way involve itself with the private investigators’ case against Mr Kayihura.

“Of course, our legal team is out of this; true. He is being sued as an individual and he will have his legal team represent him. However, what is important to know is that he has not been served (with summons); the secretary at the office and even (people) at his home (can attest to that),” Mr Enanga said on phone today.

Meanwhile, in a related development Mr Opiyo of Chapter Four, a civil society organization that deals with legal matters, said the move by ‘private investigators’ to sue Mr Kayihura is indicative of the progress made in the rule of law in Uganda.

‘The level of civic courage, the kind that brings private prosecution against Kayihura, demonstrates how far we have come,’ Mr Opiyo, a former Secretary of the Uganda Law Society (ULS), said.

Asked who can dare arrest the IGP in case he ignores court summons, Opiyo said: ‘Anybody. Everyone is empowered to arrest anyone and handover to the police’.

He added that if Kayihura ignores the summons, court can either issue fresh warrants or even an arrest warrant.

‘Kayihura is a lawyer. He should subject himself to the due process of the law. What better way to prove one’s innocence?’ Mr Opiyo challenged.