A coalition of Civil Society Organizations -Citizens’ Coalition for Electoral Democracy in Uganda (CCEDU) has demanded for the immediate arrest and prosecution of police officers who participated in the violence that ensued during nomination of presidential candidates on Tuesday.
CCEDU’s demand follows a the brutal confrontations between security agencies and opposition politicians during and after presidential nominations. The event was characterized by teargas and bullets as NUP’s Robert Kyagulanyi and FDC’s Patrick Amuriat were both brutally arrested.
Speaking during a press conference in Kampala, Charity Kalebbo Ahimbisibwe, the acting executive director, CCEDU, condemned police brutality meted on opposition presidential candidates and asked the Electoral Commission to pronounce itself on the matter.
“The human rights enforcement act and the anti torture act clearly stipulates that the individual who perpetuates or carries out brutality on a citizen should be accountable for his or her action not the police as an institution,” said Ahimbisibwe.
She noted that it was very evident that security forces applied excessive force to disperse the crowds who had come to support their candidates and therefore police officers who engaged in acts of violence should be immediately identified and subjected to the due course of the law.
The police force has since stated that the arrests were triggered by actions of opposition members and in contravention of health guidelines in the control of COVID-19 spread. The police force insists that the planned meetings were illegal.
She also accused police officers of applying the law selectively adding that on the first day of nomination, NRM youth were seen marching to Speke Resort Hotel in Munyonyo uninterrupted, where the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) was launching it’s manifesto.
“The supporters of the opposition candidates who came out to show support to their candidates where brutality handled by Police which is very unfair,” she said.
She also called upon the EC and police to work towards levelling the playing field for all candidates.