JUSTIFIED POLICE ACTION? Dr Besigye being manhandled by police officers

Events of yesterday October 31, 2016 that happened at the home of former presidential candidate Dr. Kizza Besigye in Kasangati left the nation shocked.

Indeed, these are some of the issues the opposition and more so Dr. Besigye has complained about for a long time as harassment and infringing on his personal rights and property. For what could explain the police’s continued harassment of Besigye? Why arrest his visitors? Ugandans are beginning to think that the continued harassment of the four-time presidential contestant is actually a justification of a huge police operation budget.

Whereas the police operations budget has over the last years kept on increasing, there has never been a reduction in the crime rate to justify the increase. But what is evident is that the whole operations department seems to have learnt only one thing: trail Besigye and camp at his home and that is enough to justify that the whole department is working!

Uganda is big enough for us all to live but events like that of yesterday, where a former presidential candidate is beaten and harassed by crime preventers doesn’t seem to be good for our country.

Yes, police have the mandate to detect, prevent and arrest anybody but this has to be done with justifiable reason. Irritatingly, statements made by Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIGP) Andrew Felix Kaweesi are more like those made by ‘Chemical Ali’ during Saddam Hussein’s regime; the man kept on threatening to crush America if it attacked Iraq. However, time proved him otherwise and the rest is all history!

Back to police. What right do they have arrest someone’s peaceful visitors?

What justifiable reason does police have to block Besigye from travelling in his country? And, who knew whether Besigye was indeed going to inspect him farm or going to go about his personal business in town?

Police would have had a justified answer had they left Besigye to leave his home and stormed the streets or any market to cause ‘havoc’ like they have done before. Indeed, police ought to learn that they are the ones making Besigye ‘an issue’ because the last time he returned from abroad and landed at Entebbe without police deployment, there was no fracas.

The question then is: why the chaos when police deploys or follows Besigye? Have police authorities seen fingers being pointed at the military police or the army? The reason is that they have stuck  to their professional code of conduct.

That said, events like these are a reminder that antagonism is still alive with us. Otherwise, who knows what Besigye could become tomorrow? And, what then will happen to his tormentors? The police should remember that Yoweri Museveni was once harassed and even arrested by the army as he fought to liberate Uganda. Today, Museveni is the President but his oppressors were lucky in that they found a forgiving leader otherwise had he sought to revenge those that harassed him would all be history!

We have had enough as a country and with the little we have achieved, we ought to tread carefully because police seem to be on a mission only known to them.

For God and Our Country