The Uganda police force vehemently denies arresting any supporters or witnesses of presidential candidate Amama Mbabazi’ as alleged by the political camp.
Since last week, when Mbabazi filed a petition in the Supreme Court, challenging the Presidency of H.E Yoweri Museveni, his lawyers, and Mbabazzi himself have claimed the police launched a crackdown on their supporters.
This afternoon, Mbabazi told a press conference at his Nakasero based offices, that two more witnesses who had agreed to provide evidence and swear affidavits in the ongoing petition had been arrested in Mukono and Kamwenge respectively.
But AIGP Asan Kasingye chairman interagency communication task team says they are not holding any of such people.
The statement received by our team this evening reads;
We have noticed with serious concern allegations by the Go Forward Team in various sections of the print and electronic media, that the Police had arrested and detained 13 of its supporters, who are potential witnesses in the ongoing electoral petition in the Supreme Court. We strongly deny these allegations, as completely false.
The Police does not operate an “off-the-books” detention facility anywhere. There are very clear records in the station diary, crime registers and lock up registers, for anyone arrested at every Police facility. Therefore, every suspect taken into our facilities is booked.
In this very regard, Police does not have any such suspects, neither did we conduct any arrests at the home of the Hon. Amama Mbabazi as alleged. For that matter, if the lawyers have belief that any of their clients are detained at the special investigation Division and or Nalufenya Police Station, as they allege, we have no secrets to hide because they and the public are at free will to verify our records.
It is on record that these facilities are regularly accessed, and are not used in any way to violate suspects’ rights at all. On the many occasions, Human Rights bodies, CSOs, lawyers and relatives have been allowed to visit and speak to suspects at all Police Units.
The allegation, therefore, that suspects have been arrested by Police to purposely hinder the ongoing electoral petition is unequivocally false, offensive and not supported by any facts whatsoever.
If we may ask, why is it that apart from lawyers’ claims, no relatives to the alleged 13 suspects arrested and detained by police, have ever come up with similar claims for follow up?
In addition, the Police has learnt of allegations of office breaking and theft to the Go Forward legal offices. What we resent is how the politicians and in particular Counsel Muhammad Mbabazi are going around saying it is Police responsible for the break in. It is not helpful at this stage for anybody to start insinuating that Police broke into office premises, because we did not do that.
Upon the discovery of the office breaking this morning, we have instituted a composite Team headed by the Commandant Special Investigation Division, SSP Mark Odong, in close coordination with the Electoral and Political offences Department and the Cyber Crime Unit, to actively and thoroughly investigate the breakings as quickly as possible. The findings will be availed to the Go Forward team and the public at large as soon as it is finalized.