KAMPALA – Katwe Division, Operations Commander of the Uganda Police Force -ASP Julius Gwaivu, sustained severe head injuries last month during an arrest-mission that went wrong.
A video footage of ASP Gwaivu’s shuttered head under the attention of a medical team has been making rounds on various social media platforms, with many wondering how and why an officer of such a rank had met a fate of that magnitude at the hands of suspected criminals.
But the Katwe Division Criminal Investigations boss – ASP James Illa Waigo’s report shared to his superiors reveal details regarding the incident, in which ASP Gwaivu almost lost his life to the hands of criminals.
ASP Waigo, in his findings, forwarded to Kampala Metropolitan Police Commander – SCP Stephen Tanui and the force overall boss – AIGP John Nuwagira indicate that the injured officer, who is recovering from injuries, met his fate while on an official duty to arrest a suspect – Ronald Watenyeri. He is said to have left his duty station in the company of two juniors, booking out for the operation on SD 100/17/11.2022.
Watenyeri was a suspect in an assault case; vide ref. SD 91/17/11/2022 as reported at Katwe by Iddi Mufabi, and ASP Gwaivu and his two subordinates clad in the traditional Khaki uniforms had successfully arrested the suspect from Kisekka Market – forcing him into a private vehicle.
But as ASP Gwaivu was driving away, three people who were later identified as Herbert Wekoye, Moses Wambuku and James Namanda, blocked the vehicle about 300 metres from the scene of arrest.
“…….Wekoye obstructed the way of the police officers who were driving in a private vehicle by throwing his motorcycle in way forcing them to stop while Wambuku blocked them from behind…..,” reads ASP Waigo’s report in parts.
At this point Wekoye forcefully opened the car, aiding Watenyeri’s escape. Efforts to apprehend Wekoye for aiding the suspect’s escape was resisted – as he made an alarm that attracted a mob, which confronted the police officers’ car with objects that their hands could carry.
“When ASP Gwaivu got out of their car – the mob stopped throwing stones on realising that it was the Police trying to arrest Watenyeri.
“In the ensuing melee, Watenyeri, who had escape earlier, returned with a metal, hitting ASP Gwaivu,” further reads, ASP Waigo’s report.
ASP Mutonyi took the responsibility of detailing the attack at Katwe registering a case of assaulting a police officer and obstruction on duty on CRB 1921/2022 as colleagues rushed ASP Gwaivu to hospital medical attention – the place where the viral video was recorded.
As Gwaivu was undergoing treatment, his supervisors tasked him to file a report, regarding the incident – a stance, which many of his colleagues were extremely unhappy with – pointing fingers at their boss AIGP Nuwagira, who had summoned ‘a hospitalised colleague to defend himself instead of focusing on arresting his attackers.’
ASP Waigo, wrote in the report: “On 21.NOV.2022, the director operations AIGP Nuwagira called ASP Gwaivu to his office at police headquarters to listen to his side of the story about the allegations of assault v the arrest of Watenyeri Ronald.”
So far, Wekoye, Wambuku and Namanda have since been arrested but detectives led by Joseph Muda were unsuccessful in pursuing Watenyeri up to Bududa, where he reportedly fled to after the attack on ASP Gwaivu.
Kisekka market is a well-known chaotic scene where security agencies usually have to stage a spirited effort in order to apprehend any suspects.
However many voices within the police officers are still wondering why ASP Gwaivu had only two junior officers when going to arrest a suspect in such a chaotic area, outside his area of jurisdiction, and beyond normal working works.
Additional report by URN