We Keep Suspects Without Trial to Rid Society of Criminal Elements –UPDF

The Uganda People’s Defence Forces – UPDF has explained that its spy agency, the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence -CMI, is keeping dozens of people at former Special Investigations Unit –SIU offices in Kireka without clear offences because they cleaning society of criminal elements.

Brig Gen Felix Kulayigye, the UPDF Spokesperson, while responding to the question why CMI has continuously arrested, and detained people at SIU without trial, explained they do so just to rid society of criminal elements.

Ever since the Inspector General of Police –IGP Martin Ochola, instructed all police officers deployed at SIU to relocate to the headquarters of Criminal Investigation Directorate –CID at Kibuli, a number of people majorly youths are at Kireka facility without any charges levelled against them and some have reportedly been there for more than three months.

In fact some senior police officers put the numbers of youths detained at the Kireka facility without case files at 33. “These people (CMI) were bringing suspects here after beating them to pulp and without citing any offences,” a Senior Superintendent of Police said. “We could not open case files for them when we did not know why they had been arrested. That is the main reason why IGP decided to relocate us to CID headquarters.”

Brig Gen Kulayigye said that CMI arrests people once it suspects that they have committed or about to commit crimes: “When you are suspected to have committed a crime, or about to commit a crime you can be arrested. That’s what our law says. And when they keep you in custody, the intention is to ensure you do not disappear as they are investigating the crimes you have committed or about to commit.” 

Brig Gen Kulayigye said former SIU facility is used by CMI to detain  suspects but it under the management of Crime Intelligence Directorate headed by Brig Gen Chris Damulira. Efforts to speak to Brig Gen Damulira were futile as he did not respond to text messages.

But Kulayigye said the operations that CMI has been conducting leading to arrest of the detained suspects led to the reduction of crime spates like car robberies and home break-ins that were rampant between the months of May and July.

“If you may recall around the month of May and June, there was a spate of robberies of vehicles, and house break-ins,” Brig Gen Kulayigye said. “Do you think people got saved? Why do you think they came down? The operations done are intended to rid society of criminal elements.”

Kulayigye also told the media that UPDF has killed 50 rebels of Allied Democratic Forces in the last five days. He said 30 were killed on Sunday when they engaged in a hot pursuit at Maitatu, near Tokomeko forest in the areas of Irumu. 

Twenty other ADF rebels were killed on Tuesday when more than 40 crossed into Uganda in Ntoroko district. In these two fire exchange incidents, UPDF recovered 25 guns and arrested 34 ADF militants.

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