KAWEESI MURDER: 12 minors handed back to mothers as parliament tasks internal affairs minister over their arrest
Police on Thursday released 12 of the 15 minors, believed to be children of Abdul Rashid Mbazira and Higenyi Ramathan, suspects in the murder of slain Police Spokesman AIGP Andrew Felix Kaweesi.
The children aged between two and 14 years were taken into custody on March 19 2017, two days after the tragedy in which Kaweesi was killed alongside his bodyguard Kenneth Erau and driver Godfrey Mambewa.
In the aftermath, 13 people including Mbazira and Higenyi were arrested for masterminding the attack. Mbazira was arrested with his three wives and 15 children from their home in Mukono District. The wives were later released on police bond.
Mbaziira is being investigated for his alleged involvement in the assassination of Kaweesi and child trafficking to Democratic Republic of Congo.
Police say the children have spent more than one and half month at Kyampisi Child Care center. On Thursday morning, police handed over 12 children to their mothers at Nagalama police station. Three other children have remained at Kyampisi Child Care center waiting to be picked by their mothers.
Earlier, Kampala Metropolitan police Spokesperson Emilian Kayima said several measures including DNA tests will be undertaken to prove the legitimacy of the parents, before the children are released.
However, the police commissioner for Anti Trafficking Moses Binoga told journalists at Nagalama police station that the children would be released unconditionally, refuting claims that they had been detained.
“We have released them unconditionaly but the investigations will continue and their mothers have promised to co-operate with the media. We do not want to endanger the children, the little information we had got so far will be used in investigations,” said Binoga.
Meanwhile, parliament on Thursday also intervened with Kawempe North MP Latiff Ssebagala Ssengendo asking the Minister for Internal Affairs to issue a formal statement explaining why police detained children of the suspects in AIGP Kaweesi’s murder case.
Ssebagala raised the issue as a matter of national importance on the floor of parliament presided over by the deputy speaker Jacob Oulanyah.
“Under what circumstances were these little children arrested incommunicado? Through you Mr. speaker, the minister should give us an explanation because even their fathers are just suspects?” asked Ssebagala
Kalungu West MP Joseph Ssewungu Gonzaga concurred with Ssebagala, saying the police breached the Children’s Act.
On behalf of the leader of government business, Minister of state minister for finance in charge of planning David Bahati said the minister of internal affairs will be asked to make a formal statement explaining the matter next Tuesday.