The Inspector General of Police Kale Kayihura has said he planned and coordinated the raid on Parliament on Wednesday in which security forces arrested 24 legislators.
General Kayihura while speaking in Entebbe today that the operation was carried out with help from “sister security agencies.”
Kayihura’s revelation comes hours after the police forensic team commenced investigations into violence and vandalism of property that unfolded inside the Chambers on Wednesday, shortly before a motion to remove presidential age limits was tabled.
Security forces stormed into parliament as the House descended into unprecedented chaos after Speaker Rebecca Kadaga ordered the suspension of 25 MPs who had taken part in disrupting plenary proceedings the previous day.
At the time the security forces raided the House, the suspended legislators had refused to take leave and fighting had broken out. Chairs and microphones were broken and turned into weapons as the House turned against itself.
The security violently removed opposition MPs from the House, with some sustaining injuries in the process, and detained them at various police stations in and around Kampala Metropolitan area.
After they had successfully ejected all suspended the MPs and handed them over to waiting police vans, the plain-clothed men were seen using the parliament exit gate that connects to the President’s Office where they had come from.
Leader of Opposition Winnie Kiiza then stated on the floor of parliament that the ejection of MPs had been carried out by members of the Special Forces Command – SFC, an elite force that guards the president.
Speaking to this publication a day after the raid, Chris Obore, Parliament’s director of communications and public affairs, said that the Sergeant at Arms had tried to evict MPs but he was over-powered with one of his staff sustaining an injury on the face.
Obore said that this development forced the police under parliament’s police directorate to step in. Obore however said that he could not tell whether the plain-clothed people were from the Uganda Police Force or not.
He added that any Ugandan who believes that the security operatives in the Chambers were not from the Sergeant’s office or police, they should petition the Speaker.
Captain Jimmy Omara, the acting SFC Public Relations Officer, has also denied knowledge of the plain-clothed personnel.
“We didn’t deploy anywhere near parliament, inside parliament or outside parliament. We didn’t have any deployment there and we don’t even intend to deploy,” said Omara.
He added that their role as SFC is to protect the president. Omara then asked this publication to engage parliament’s communications director on the matter since it is within his area.
Earlier Asan Kasingye, the police spokesperson was quoted in the media denying knowledge of the plain-clothed security men that assaulted the MPs, in effect contradicting his boss who, later in the day confirmed he planned the operation.
Kayihura, while addressing residents of Katabi about the rampant murders in the area, said that police deployed extra security to handle the opposition MPs following intelligence that the MPs wanted to burn parliament.
On Wednesday, Kayihura and Kampala Metropolitan Police Commander Frank Mwesigwa were seen at parliament in briefing meetings with the security detail attached to the House.
With the contradicting statements from police, Obore said the police should then justify its presence at parliament.
After the chaos, Igara West MP Raphael Magyezi was able to present his motion seeking leave of parliament to draft a constitutional amendment that would see President Yoweri Museveni’s three-decade rule extended beyond 2021.
Magyezi’s motion targets Article 102(b) of the Constitution which puts 35 and 75 as lower and upper caps respectively on the presidential age. Museveni, in power since 1986, will be above 75 in 2021.