Luwero, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Uganda Human Rights Commission has started investigating reports of torture and killing of suspects arrested during the enforcement of COVID-19 control measures in parts of Luwero.
At least two people have reportedly been killed and scores injured during operations conducted by policemen to enforce the directives that were given by President Yoweri Museveni to mainly limit crowds and person to person interactions in the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic.
The latest victim is Ali Ssewankambo, a resident of Busiika town who was shot by Police Constable David Obong while dispersing a group of youths on August 26. The second is Kassim Luyinda, a bodaboda rider at the Ssemakula stage in Zirobwe town council who died on June 23, after he was hit with a gun bayonet at a police checkpoint.
Another motorcyclist Frank Kagenyi Kiryowa, a resident of Buwate town in Wakiso district was hit by bayonet and is still battling with injuries to date. He was also hit on June 23, after crossing to Luwero at a time when the president had banned inter-district movements.
Similarly, Sulaiman Wasswa Kirabira, a resident of Mabanda zone in Luwero town council is nursing a bone fracture after he was beaten up by policemen attached at Luwero sub county police post who found him outside his home during curfew time.
Now the victims have appealed to Uganda Human Rights Commission to investigate the cases and order individual policemen to compensate them as well ensure they are charged. The victims accuse the police in Luwero district of covering up the policemen who torture and kill the people during the operations.
Gloria Kirungi, an investigations officer at Uganda Human Rights Commission at Naguru central offices says that they have picked interest into the reported abuses and interviewed some of the victims before engaging the police about the same. Kirungi said the UHRC tribunal will decide on the cases after investigations are completed
Isah Ssemwogerere, the Savannah Regional Police Spokesperson declined to comment on the matter. But URN learnt that apart from recording the statement from victims and bereaved families, none of the accused policemen have been charged either in Civil court or police disciplinary court over the human right abuses.