Lawyers of Edith Byanyima have protested the manner in which detectives from Kabalagala police station raided and searched her home.
Edith is sister to Winnie Byanyima, the Executive Director of Oxfam International and opposition doyen Kizza Besigye’s wife. Detectives led by ASP Godfrey Kuteesa, the deputy officer in charge criminal investigations at Kabalagala police station arrived at Byanyima’s home in Muyenga on Wednesday 3rd escorted by two police patrol vehicles.
The officers surrounded the home as the detectives entered the house. Francis Bwengye, Byanyima’s lawyer says that it was illegal for the detectives to search the house of his client without a search warrant.
“They did not have a search warrant. They didn’t say what crime our client committed. We also have the same questions as you,” Bwengye said.
During the search, the detectives recovered 24 pieces of red coloured table clothes, which they confiscated.
According to the search certificate signed by Kuteesa and other police officers only 24 red pieces of table clothes of Nytil material were recovered from the house.
However Byanyima and her lawyers Bwengye and Eva Nabitaka refused to sign on the search certificate. Byanyima refused to comment on the incident saying, police should be given a chance to do whatever they are doing without her interfering with investigations. Police described the found material as “illicit or illegal materials.”
At the time the search was carried out, the area chairperson Fredrick Oteba was not at Byanyima’s house. He arrived when the search was done and was shown the table clothes that were recovered.
“I don’t know whether having red clothes is a crime nowadays. I don’t know why they did not pick the blue, yellow and green ones. Maybe they will also remove colour red from the national flag,” Oteba said after the search.
Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago who is also Byanyima’s lawyer said that the search is a sign of a regime in panic.
“You can see what they are doing. This is all a sign of a regime in panic. The sign of a collapsing regime,” Lukwago said.
Attempts to get a comment from the Kampala Metropolitan police spokesperson Luke Owoyesigyire were futile as he was not in office and was not picking his calls.
However a reliable source in police told this publication that police had received information from an informer that there was a warehouse at Byanyima’s place which was printing People Power movement T-shirts, overalls and caps.