Ugandan MPs condemn manner of DPC Kirumira’s arrest

Ugandan MPs condemn manner of DPC Kirumira’s arrest
Muhammad Kirumira during his happier days in police

MPs on parliamentary Human Rights committee have condemned the manner under which embattled Buyende district police commander, Muhammad Kirumira was arrested last week.

Heavily armed policemen picked Kirumira from his home in Bulenga along Mityana on February 1, a day after he announced his resignation from the police force on social media citing unfavourable working conditions.

Police used metal cutters to chop off the front door and the burglar proof door to gain entry into Kirumira’s house where the police boss had barricaded himself. Pleas by Kirumira’s father, Abubaker Kawoya for the officers to allow him to drive Kirumira to wherever he was needed fell on deaf ears.

Ugandan MPs condemn manner of DPC Kirumira’s arrest
Police cut off the front door to gain access into Kirumira’s house

Police also fired live bullets and teargas to disperse residents who had gathered to see what was happening. Now, MP Joviah Kamateeka, the chairperson of the Human Rights committee says the way Kirumira was picked up was traumatizing for his family and the community.

The MP, who raised the matter as an issue of national importance, asked the speaker to direct the Internal Affairs minister to present a statement to parliament explaining why Kirumira was arrested in that manner.

“Further concern, is the the way the arrest was done in total disregard of other members of the family who must have been innocent. This arrest must have traumatised Kirumira’s wife, the children. We did not even see any of the police officers make an effort to explain to the wife and other members of the family as to why this arrest was done in such a manner.

Every accused person has rights, and the police knows this being the custodians of law and order. The [arrest] traumatised not only Kirumira’s family but all well-meaning Ugandans,” she said.

Speaker, Rebecca Kadaga directed the Internal Affairs minister to present a statement on the matter on Tuesday next week.

How it all started

On January 31, Kirumira published a statement on his Facebook wall, saying he had resigned from Uganda Police Force. In his statement Kirumira explained that he has decided to resign from the force after realizing that his image will never change before his bosses.

He explained that the decision to drag him before the police disciplinary tribunal on criminal charges was meant to taint his reputation. Kirumira was arraigned before the police tribunal for crimes he allegedly committed in 2013 and 2014 when he was in charge of Nansana police station and Old Kampala police station respectively.

Kirumira pleaded not guilty to charges ranging from torture, extortion, corruption, bribery, unlawful arrests and excessive use of authority.

“Where are these are old trumped up charges, the police persistently kept on looking at me as a criminal and the purpose of this trial in an internal tribunal is to find ways of undermining my reputation,” reads Kirumira’s message.

Adding that, “As a senior officer who has laboured to wipe out crime without any special facilitation, I have realized that my image before the administration shall never change and given the fact that I am still a young man. I have resigned from the force to enable the police court fulfil their motives.”

Police spokesperson, Emilian Kayima had issued a statement warning him of possible consequences.