Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Criminal Investigations Directorate working alongside the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence-CMI has preferred attempted murder charges against Major Alfa Okua for shooting a traffic policeman on Saturday.
It all started after a UPDF vehicle registration number HODF 1391 veered off the road and rammed into a signpost at Kobil petrol station along Kiwatule road. According to police spokesperson Fred Enanga, a traffic officer Robert Mukebezi, responded to the incident and resolved that the vehicle be towed to Kira Road police station.
However, in the process of towing the UPDF vehicle, a UPDF pick up truck intercepted the towing truck. According to the police, the second pickup truck was under the command of Major Alfa Okua who is attached to the CMI headquarters in Mbuya. Major Okua and his three colleagues insisted that the army vehicle could not be towed to a police station.
It is alleged that Okua shot inside the towing truck and injured Mukebezi who was in the co-drivers seat. Mukebezi has since been transferred from Mulago National Referral hospital to Victoria Hospital for treatment. Enanga accuses Maj Okua of acting with impunity, indiscipline, disrespect, and unprofessionalism.
Police insist that whatever Constable Mukebezi did was within the law and it was right to check the state of the occupants in the military vehicle and tow the wreckage to the police station. According to police, Maj Okua and his accomplices are still at large.
“We would like to inform the public that the police together with UPDF are searching for the UPDF officer who was involved in the shooting of a traffic officer. He was lawfully carrying his duties. It is quite embarrassing, it is an act of impunity, an act of lawlessness and unprofessionalism,” Enanga said.
There have been several incidents where military officers have deliberately assaulted traffic officers who stop them from making turns at wrong sections of the road, driving from the wrong side of the road, or fighting civilians when they scratch their vehicles.
In October last year, Richard Namara, a driver to Captain Joseph Kamusiime drew out his pistol and threatened to shoot Clement Omoding, who stopped him for driving on the wrong side of Nile Avenue. Constable Omoding was saved by colleagues who overpowered Namara and detained him at CPS Kampala.
In June 2020, the now-deceased Deputy IGP, Maj Gen Paul Lokech slapped Ruth Kyobutungi, the regional traffic commander for KMP East for stopping him from driving along the pavement along Kireka-Kyaliwajjala road. It took the intervention of the then Kampala Metropolitan Police Commander, Moses Kafeero to resolve the matter.
In 2019, Maj Gen Matayo Kyaligonza slapped Sergent Esther Namaganda int Seeta town in Mukono municipality for questioning why he and his guards were making a turn at a wrong section of the road.