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Police injure Kabale hospital medic while enforcing curfew

Muhammad Byaruhanga on a treatment bed at Kabale hospital. Courtesy photo

Kabale, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Muhammad Byaruhanga, an orthopedist attached to Kabale Regional Referral Hospital is nursing wounds after being tortured by the escorts of Kabale Resident District Commissioner, Darius Nandinda. Byaruhanga told URN on Monday afternoon that the RDC’s police guards beat him on Sunday night towards 9:00pm as he was retiring from work at the hospital.

According to Byaruhanga, on his way home, a double cabin pickup vehicle registration number UG 3314C that was being driven by a police officer he only identified as Julius emerged from behind and intercepted him along Bugongi road in Lower Bugongi ward, Northern division, Kabale municipality.

Byaruhanga says that he later filed a complaint at Kabale police station where he was bounced at gunpoint by an officer, arguing that such matters are not handled by police.

Sophie Namasoppo, the Director Kabale Regional Referral Hospital didn’t comment on the matter saying that she was in a security meeting and the attack on Byaruhanga is among the issues lined up for discussion. A staff at the hospital told URN on condition of anonymity that Byaruhanga is the fourth health worker falling victim to police brutality. He says that unless something is done, health workers will lay down their tools to protest police brutality.

Emmanuel Ainebyoona, Ministry of Health Spokesperson told URN that he wasn’t aware of the incident but promised to follow it up. Reuben Mutabazi, Kabale District Internal Security Officer promised to investigate the incident, saying he had received information.

However, the RDC said he wasn’t aware of the involvement of his escorts in the assault of the medical worker, saying in any case this is a police case. Last week, health officials led by Kabale District Health Officer, Alfred Besigensi, Sophie Namasoppo, the Director Kabale regional referral hospital and Gilbert Mateeka, the medical superintendent Rugarama hospital protested the harassment of health workers by security.

However, the RDC and acting Police Commander, Keneddy Ssebagala and Elly Maate, Kigezi Region police spokesperson argued that some health workers fail to cleary identify themselves when intercepted by security officials.

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