Uganda Police Force’s Disciplinary Court has sentenced all the eight police officers who were on duty the night Maria Nagirinya and her driver Ronald Kitayimbwa were kidnapped and later murdered, after finding them guilty of neglect of duty.
The officers include ASP Byansi Mohammed, ASP Nizeyimana Andrew, ASP Okello Allan, D/AIP Baguma Sunday, CPL Owona Samuel, PC Basaliza Joshua and PC Kitute Deo.
Nagirinya, a female social worker together with her driver were kidnapped on the night of August 28 at Nagirinya’s gate in Lungujja Busega Community Zone at around 11pm.
The abductors then drove the two in Nagirinya’s own car to an unknown destination before killing and dumping their bodies in Nakitukuli, Mukono district.
A couple of days after Nagirinya’s abduction, her father, Francis Lubowa and her uncle Dr Ben Mukwaya blamed detectives for being complacent when they informed them of how their daughter had been kidnapped.
President Yoweri Museveni would later order for the arrest of the police officers who did not act after being alerted by relatives about it.
The President said in a statement that: “When she was kidnapped, the relatives, immediately, informed the Police of Kibumbiro Police post at Nateete, by about 00:43 hours. The officer there should have informed all the Police units and patrol cars and the camera centres about the type of car that had been hi-jacked.”
“The cameras then would track that vehicle and those criminals would have been arrested or killed before they abandoned the car at Nateete, after dumping the bodies of the victims in Mukono,” he added.
Consequently, the 8 officers were arrested by the Police’s Professional Standards Unit (PSU) and charged with neglect of duty.
While addressing journalists at the police headquarters on Monday, police spokesperson, CP Fred Enanga said court established that the officers violated the requirements of duty of remaining alert and observant while on duty after some of them were found absent that evening. 7 of these were found guilty of neglect of duty and the other, discreditable conduct.
“It was found that there were so many errors and delays in fast tracking the CCTV footages and there were also miscommunications which were made within minutes and hours after this double kidnap,” he added.
“In addition to that, the Police disciplinary court established that at Old Kampala, Nateete and Katwe police stations, officers showed unwillingness to perform their duties as well as taking appropriate actions during the occasion of the crime.
ASP Byansi Mohammed OC Nateete police station, ASP Nizeyimana Andrew OC CID Nateete police station, D/AIP Baguma Sunday Standby officer Nateete police station, PC Basaliza Joshua and PC Kitute Deo have all been sentenced to a reprimand.
ASP Okello Allan who was the commander police patrol that evening and was found absent was charged of neglect of duty and sentenced to severe reprimand.
CPL Owona Samuel who was the second in charge signora was found guilty of neglect of duty and sentenced to reduction of rank from Corporal to Constable.
The other officer is Kibi Kwamo Lauben who was the OC Old Kampala police station. He was found guilty of discreditable conduct and also sentenced to a reduction in rank from Corporal to Constable.
Enanga said the officers have 14 days to appeal the judgement in the police council appellate court.