By PAUL TAJUBA(The Daily Monitor)
Security minister Lt Gen Henry Gen Tumukunde has ordered police to release innocent people they arrested mistaking them for criminals and apologise to the public.
While speaking at at a Media and National Security dialogue Gen Tumukunde said that law enforcement officers should always “own up mistakes” instead of detaining suspects on account of what security officers have made the public to believe.
“Do not keep suspects further just because you justify what you exposed to the public. If at any stage of investigations, despite what you have wrongly or rightly exposed to the public, if this person is not the correct person, have the courtesy to say we were wrong,” Gen Tumukunde said.
The police have of recent contradicted on a number of issues regarding suspects especially those suspected to have gunned down Andrew Felix Kaweesi, the slain Force’s spokesperson, his driver and guard in March.
After the arrest and tortured of Kamwenge Town Council mayor, Godfrey Byamukama, police pubicits Asan Kasingye at first denied arresting beaten-near-death suspect but later accepted and said police was footing his medical bills.
The Prime minister, Dr Ruhakana Rugunda, at the same event weighed in on the continues brutality where the force has tortured suspects, some to near death warning that no officer should act inhumanely like that.
“No Ugandan should be tortured and we should deal with each other as humanely as possible even those who have committed crime should be treated properly,” Dr Rugunda said.
Responding to question on declassification of some information after some time, Dr Rugunda welcomed the idea saying it was wrong to keep such information forever. He also ordered that government officials should give information to media practitioners to avoid speculations.
Security agencies have also had a not-rosy relationship with the media.
Mr Kin Karisa, the chairperson of broadcasters, under their body of Uganda National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) said: “It has become hard and too expensive for us in the media to cover [Kizza] Besigye, Erias Lukwago, [MP Mubarak] Munyagwa.”
Dr Besigye is a four-time presidential candidate with a big following across the country; Mr Lukwago is the Kampala Lord Mayor.
At the dialogue, media and security agencies resolved on a number of issues including; security agencies putting in place mechanisms for continuous dialogue, exhibition of professionalism by both media and security officers in line with their duties and security should put in place mechanism for timely dialogue on security matters among others.