The UPDF has termed as “regrettable” the incident that occurred in Seeta, Mukono district where a female traffic Police officer was assaulted by soldiers guarding NRM and army senior official, Maj Gen Matayo Kyaligonza.
A photo has been circulating on numerous social platforms showing two soldiers attached to Military Police manhandling a female Police officer who is yet to be identified. One of the soldiers can be seen grabbing her by the collar as a seemingly angered Gen Kyaligonza points his hand at her.
It is reported the assaulted Police officer had stopped Kyaligonza’s car for flouting traffic rules. This is what prompted the General along with his security detail to besiege the helpless female officer and scoff at her. It is also reported that a journalist who took the photo of the incident was also assaulted by the same soldiers.
Now, the UPDF spokesperson, Brig Richard Karemire has come out to regret the incident and apologized to the victim – the Police officer.
“We have been informed of the incident involving a Police traffic Sergeant and UPDF military Police Soldiers,” Brig Karemire said in a tweet Sunday afternoon.
“It is very regrettable and apologies to our Police Sister. UPDF and UPF are establishing the facts,” he added.
The army spokesperson said “findings will guide action to be taken”.
The incident has attracted a backlash from Ugandans on social media who have strongly condemned Kyaligonza and his security for acting with impunity. Many sided with the female traffic officer whom they defended for doing her job.
It has become common practice for public servants in Senior positions to disregard traffic and road safety regulations even when most of them do not have the right-of-way privilege.
It remains to be seen what action will be taken against both Gen Kyaligonza and his two security guards for acting with impunity and assaulting an officer of Police while on duty.
Maj Gen Kyaligonza is among the key figures often referred to as “historicals” of the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) government, for his role in the liberation struggle that brought President Yoweri Museveni into power three decades ago.
Kyaligonza currently serves as Uganda’s Ambassador to Burundi as well as NRM Vice Chairperson Western Uganda. The serving military officer also sits on the High Command of the UPDF.
He formerly served as Constituency Assembly Delegate and later Member of Parliament for Buhaguzi county in what was then Hoima district.