President Museveni yesterday released a statement condemning in the strongest terms the shooting and beating of civilians by the Police.
The president questioned as to why police fired tear gas and live bullets during the Monday demonstrations that saw the rioters, section of the public, and journalists brutally beaten and arrested.
“Youth groups of Monday were more of a nuisance and psychological warfare than a menace, unless I get new facts. Why then, shoot at them, why fire tear-gas, why fire bullets?” he wondered advising the Police to use other means.
“Those mobile, tyre burning groups, who are not attacking anybody, should simply be chased on foot, identified from light helicopters (206- Agusto type) or UAUs, arrested and be charged with appropriate offences,” he continued.
In the same statement, Museveni condemned beating up of journalists and advised the police to rather arrest and charge them lawfully in case of disobedience. He informed the security forces that they don’t have the power to beat up people.
“I condemn, again, in the strongest terms the beating of journalists by elements of the security forces. It is true that the journalists working for foreign interests or for our own local parasites tell lies, they do not do balanced reporting,”
“On account of that you can block them because sometimes they interfere with the scene of crime. If they refuse, you arrest them and charge them with disobeying lawful command
“Beating is wrong because the Security forces do not have that power. People should not be beaten even as a punishment. They can be imprisoned, fined, or hanged according to the law,” he advised.
This follows the recent riots and wave of demonstrations that have arisen from the brutal arrest of four MPs and over 30 other civilians on the eve of the ARUA municipality by-election. The MPs include MP Robert Kyagulanyi commonly known as Bobi Wine, Kasiano Wadri who won the by-election, Gerald Karuhanga and Francis Zaake whose where abouts have been unknown until of recent when he was “dumped” at Rubaga hospital where he is currently undergoing treatment.