KAMPALA – Uganda’s Military – the UPDF spy organ – the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence –CMI – detains dozens of people at the former Special Investigations Unit –SIU facilities in Kireka without clear offences, reportedly to clean society of criminal elements.
Brig Gen Felix Kulayigye – the UPDF Spokesperson confirmed while addressing a press conference on Friday that CMI had continuously arrested, and detained people at SIU without trial.
Ever since the IGP, Martin Okoth Ochola, instructed all police officers deployed at SIU to relocate to the headquarters of Criminal Investigation Directorate –CID at Kibuli, a number of people majorly, youth are detained at the Kireka facility, with some remaining without trial for more than three months.
A senior police officer, who preferred anonymity, put the numbers of youth detainees at the Kireka facility at 33.
“These people – CMI were bringing suspects here after beating them to pulp, and without citing any offences,” said an SSP, adding: “We could not open case files for them because we didn’t know why they had been arrested. That is the main reason why the IGP decided to relocate us to CID headquarters.”
Brig Gen Kulayigye said that CMI arrests people once it suspects that they have committed or about to commit a crime.
“When you are suspected to have committed a crime or about to commit a one – you can be arrested. That’s what our law says. And when they keep you in custody, the intention is to ensure you do not disappear as they are investigating the crimes you have committed or about to commit,” said Gen Kulayigye.
Brig Gen Kulayigye revealed that although the former SIU facility is used by CMI to detain suspects, it’s under the management of Crime Intelligence Directorate of the Police, which Brig Gen Chris Damulira, heads.
But Kulayigye said the operations that CMI has been conducting leading to arrest of the detained suspects had led to the reduction of crime spates like car robberies and home break-ins that were rampant between the months of May and July. He couldn’t however give actual figures.
“If you may recall around the month of May and June, there was a spate of robberies of vehicles, and house break-ins,” recalled Brig Gen Kulayigye, adding: “Do you think people got saved? Why do you think they came down? The operations are intended to rid society of criminal elements.”
Kulayigye also told the media that UPDF has killed 50 rebels of Allied Democratic Forces – ADF in the last five days. He said 30 were killed on Sunday when they engaged in a hot pursuit at Maitatu, near Tokomeko forest in the areas of Irumu.
Twenty other ADF rebels were killed on Tuesday when more than 40 crossed into Uganda through Ntoroko district. In these two fire exchange incidents, UPDF recovered 25 guns and arrested 34 ADF militants – mainly children.
Additional reporting by URN