M7 Decries Torture on Criminals, Vows to Crack them Down Like Rebel Groups
By Serestino Tusingwire
President Yoweri Museveni has ordered his army men to stop torturing crime suspects if they have been doing so in order to get the truth from suspects.
In a lengthy statement directed to Inspector General of Police, Chief of Defence Forces and Director of Intelligence Services, Museveni says torture as a means of getting confession from criminals is long overdue and cannot work in the modern society.
According to him, torture has three bad implications which include;
“Number one, you may torture the wrong person, somebody who is totally innocent. This is very unfair. Secondly, somebody may admit guilt when he is innocent in order to be spared being tortured. This will make the real criminal escape in order to commit more crimes later. Thirdly, confessions by the criminals are not necessary.”
He says even if the suspects do not admit their guilt, if the investigators do their work well (finger-prints, photo-graphs, DNA tests, eye-witnesses, the use of other scientific methods, the use of dogs etc), the criminals can get convicted.
Museveni says his government has defeated high profile criminals and rebels that were even backed by foreigners, so he has nothing to worry about these coward-criminals who use boda-bodas to kill people.
“We defeated Lakwena, we defeated Kony who was being heavily supported by external elements, we defeated the ADF that was, again, being heavily supported by foreigners, we defeated the UPA of Teso and disarmed the Karimojong cattle-rustlers by removing 40,000 rifles from them. We cannot fail to cope with cowards using boda bodas to kill people who are peacefully sitting in their cars or walking along the streets.”
He has vowed to use the techniques he used to crackdown these high profile criminals and rebels to avenge the death of all those who were killed by yet to be identified criminal gang.
“With a little adjustment, we shall avenge the deaths of: Sheikh Mustafa Bahiga, Prosecutor Kagezi, Hajji Daktur Muwaya, Sheik Jowat Madangu, Sheikh Yusuf Ssentamu, Sheik Yunis Sentuga, Hajji Mohammed Sebagala, Tito Okware, Constable Driver Wambewo Godfrey, Cpl Erau Kenneth, No. 1404 SPC Karim Tenywa, No. 54812 PC Babale Muzamiro, Owori John Steven, No. 44957 Cpl Owori Julius, SPC Isiko, Macho Steven, Okumu Ronald, Sheik Rashid Wafula, Major Kiggundu and AIGP Kawesi.”
He however warned his men to desist from torture however angry they may be to these suspects.
“Our annoyance with these criminals should not make us opt for defective short-cuts. These are hardened criminals by default who think that by denying they can kill and escape accountability. However, we shall get them using patient means of evidence but not through torture because evidence through torture is not reliable.”
Museveni’s statement comes just a few hours after Human rights organisations visiting Nalufenya prison where they found out that suspects in connection with the murder of AIGP Andrew Felix Kaweesi were beaten to nearly death such that they could plead guilty.