85 Uganda police officers convicted since 2005

Uganda Police Force brutality
Uganda Police beat up a protester, Thursday, April 14, 2011 in Kampala, Uganda. Witnesses in Uganda say police fired tear gas into a hospital during a skirmish with stone-throwing protesters. Military police officers shot Uganda's top opposition politician in the right hand Thursday and fired tear gas into a hospital as demonstrations against rising fuel and food prices broke out in several locations across the country, officials said. (AP Photo/Stephen Wandera)

Eighty five Uganda police officers have been convicted in criminal courts and sentenced for their individual criminal actions in the last 12 years.

The 85 are part of 1,946 police officers who have been implicated in more than 22,460 complaints filed by the public and investigated by the Professional Standards Unit (PSU).

The Uganda Police established PSU in 2005, first as a disciplinary committee of the force. It was expanded and empowered to investigate all kinds of complaints and crimes against the police personnel.

Those convicted include former Old Kampala Divisional Police Commander (DPC) Joram Mwesigye who was recently convicted and ordered to pay a fine and compensation to a TV journalist, Andrew Lwanga, who he assaulted in 2015 leaving him paralyzed.

According to the police spokesperson Asan Kasingye, while there are many complaints filed by the public against police officers, individual officers tend to have a number of complaints lined up against them.

“The complaints are so many but it doesn’t mean that every complaint is against a different police officer. Some of them have up to 10 cases against them,” Kasingye says.

While more than 430 police officers have since 2005 appeared before criminal courts, 144 of the officers have since been acquitted and 202 are still in court.

There have also been a number of disciplinary cases handled by the police disciplinary court.  Up to 1,515 officers have been investigated and recommended for disciplinary action, while 915 have appeared before the disciplinary court.

While at the home of the slain police spokesperson Andrew Felix Kaweesi, two weeks ago, President Yoweri Museveni complained that there were mafias and criminals in the police force and asked the Inspector General, Kale Kayihura to take action. Kaweesi was together with his driver and body guard gunned down by unknown assailants on March 17 near his home in Kulambiro, Kampala.