President Yoweri Museveni has again warned security operatives who are in the habit of brutalizing Ugandans by beating them, saying those in violation of the guidelines on COVID-19 should be arrested, not beaten.
The President says such beatings are illegal and pointless.
So far, 10 Police officers have been charged in court with aggravated torture and remanded to prison. Some other 6 UPDF officers were Wednesday sentenced to 6 months imprisonment by the Court Martial for torturing civilians including pregnant women.
The torture happened as the security agencies enforced the daily curfew that was recently declared by the President.
“I’m having problems with my indisciplined security people who like beating people. Security is not about beating people. You are giving our security people a bad name. You are weakening us. It isolates us both internally and internationally,” Museveni said during his televised national address Wednesday.
He says defiant citizens should be arrested.
“Tell people to go home. If they refuse, arrest them and handcuff them. You don’t beat. Even cows are no longer beaten these days. I don’t want to hear security people beating people or entering people’s houses at night,” he added.
Regarding entering people’s houses, he advised that officers on duty must act on intelligence and secure approval from their Seniors to be able to conduct a search on places known to be breaking health emergency guidelines.
It must be handled in a legal way, he said.
However, following recent arrests of their colleagues, some security officers have relaxed for fear of reprimand.
But Museveni warned that officers who ignore the violations of the set Covid-19 preventive guidelines, risk facing charges of mutiny. He said those that abrogate their duties will lose their jobs and be jailed.
Meanwhile, in his latest address, the President has directed that boda bodas which carry luggage must not operate beyond 2pm.
He also commented on the issue of landlords and rent which has recently sparked public debate. Many Ugandans who are no enable to earn income want government to address the issue of rent and possible evictions.
“I have heard of landlords trying to evict people because of rent. This shouldn’t be allowed. They are trying to exacerbate the crisis. They (landlords) should support. The world is not ending today, this shutdown is for a limited period, it will be over,” he said