Kyadondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi, alias , has asked government to explain the killing of 15 Ugandans who were gunned down by Local Defence Unit (LDU) personnel during the lockdown.
“While the coronavirus has not killed a single Ugandan, government security personnel, including LDUs and others, have killed many people, tortured Ugandans and mutilated others in the name of enforcing Covid-19 related restrictions,” Mr Kyagulanyi told the press at his offices in Kamwokya yesterday.
The Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) spokesperson, Brig Richard Karemire, said most of their errant officers who committed some of the crimes have since been arrested, charged or convicted and jailed on varying charges.
“Like today (yesterday), we have sentenced one of them to 20 years in jail. We also sentenced another to life imprisonment while another was sentenced to 40 years in prison. We continue to take them through training as the UPDF forces always do and soon we shall not have such cases,” Brig Karemire said.
“We also ask Bobi Wine to look at the positives these LDUs have done because there was a lot of robbery and other crimes but they have been stopped by the LDUs. They are not just doing bad things out there, there are some positives they have done,” he added.
Last week, Hussein Walugembe, a boda boda rider set himself ablaze at Masaka Police Station after they refused to release his motorcycle that had been impounded for violating Covid-19 curfew restrictions.
Eyewitnesses said police officers in Masaka asked Walugembe for Shs100,000 for release of his boda boda, but he could not raise it.
On May 13, Eric Mutasiga, a primary school head teacher in Mukono District, was shot by LDUs as he pleaded with them not to shoot a chapati seller whom they had confronted for breaching the curfew. He later died of the injuries.
On May 10, Alfred Mwanga, a 46-year-old resident of Kapkwata village in Kween District, was shot dead by LDU officers, ostensibly enforcing the curfew rules.
These are not isolated cases, according to Mr Kyagulanyi and his People Power officials.
Brig Karemire said: “All these people will be brought to book and we assure families of the deceased they will get the justice they deserve. Already many of them have been arrested.”
Yesterday, the People Power spokesperson, Mr Joel Ssenyonyi, said there have been more than 15 such deaths by either shooting or causing accidents by the security officers.
Mr Ssenyonyi said: “We are also bothered by the death of Emmanuel Tegu, a third year veterinary student at Makerere University. According to the deceased’s family, Emmanuel told them just before he died that he was beaten by LDUs. In law there’s something called a dying declaration, which is admissible as evidence in court that can be corroborated, so this should be put into consideration during investigations.”
“It is our considered view that the government should begin to ease the lockdown restrictions. Let’s start by reopening places of worship, with some guidelines. We also call for good facilitation for the men and women in uniform because poverty has pushed them to the wall,” Bobi Wine said.