The Deputy Speaker, Anita Among, has directed the government to present to Parliament a report about an incident in which a Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) soldier shot a police officer and injured him.
Police Constable Robert Mukebezi, was shot and injured on Sunday, 16 January 2022 as he attempted to tow a UPDF vehicle that was involved in an accident in Ntinda, Kampala.
While chairing plenary sitting on Thursday, 27 January 2022, Among said that government should report on the progress made to apprehend the perpetrator.
“If you are saying that the person is at large, how difficult is it to find that person. The report I want from government is on action taken against the culprit; how far you have gone with the treatment of the victim, compensation and his welfare,” she said.
Among condemned the action of the UPDF soldier, saying it has disabled the officer who was the breadwinner of his family.
“I saw the incident in the news and took it upon myself to follow it up. In the same vein, an army truck knocked two girls; one died and the other was amputated. What is it that we do not understand? Can Government make us understand what is happening,” she said.
The Government Chief Whip, Thomas Tayebwa, said the Minister of Internal Affairs would report back in a week.
“We shall give a comprehensive report on the matter,” he said.
The issue was raised as a procedural matter by Bukooli County Central MP, Hon. Solomon Silwany, who said that the Minister of Internal Affairs had committed to make a statement on the incident upon resumption of plenary.
“When you (Deputy Speaker) delegated me to visit the officer, we made a commitment to him and his family that we would handle the matter. I was looking through the Order Paper, and I did not see it. Wouldn’t it be procedurally right to invite the Ministers of Internal Affairs and Security to provide a statement on the unfortunate incident,” Silwany said.
Hon. Asuman Basalirwa (JEEMA, Bugiri Municipality) called on government to generally consider addressing human rights violations in the country.
“I am a practicing lawyer and every day courts are being moved to issue orders of unconditional release of people who are being illegally detained. Courts are issuing orders directing that people in police and army custody be subjected to medical treatment because of torture,” said Basalirwa.
Hon. Cecilia Ogwal (FDC, Dokolo district) said that close scrutiny of human rights reports laid in Parliament could resolve the challenges surrounding operations of the army.
“Members do not get the opportunity to debate such reports. If we take the trouble to read these reports individually, we find that they are loaded with facts which if discussed will help us change some of the excesses of the army,” she said.
Hon. Gilbert Olanya (FDC, Kilak County South) said that such incidents instill fear among police officers, thereby affecting their work.
According to a statement issued by the Uganda Police Force, a joint search for the soldier with the military police and Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI) has been launched.
The police officer, whose leg got amputated, is being treated at Victoria hospital in Kampala.
Credit: Parliament Team