The army has justified the rearrest of suspects accused of the murder of former police spokesperson, Andrew Felix Kaweesi just moments after their release on bail by the High court.
Kaweesi was shot dead on March 17, 2017, together with his bodyguard Kenneth Erau and driver, Godfrey Mambewa. Several suspects were arrested from various districts in the country and taken to the courts of law on charges of murder, aggravated robbery, and terrorism. At least four of the eight suspects were freed by court registrar, Esther Nasambu on the orders of justice Lydia Mugambe.
However, soon after their bail release yesterday, Yusuf Nyanzi, Jibril Kalyango, Joshua Kyambadde, Yusuf Mugerwa, and their lawyer, James Mubiru who has since been charged with obstructing justice at Jinja road police station, were rounded up by both plain-clothed security officers at the premises of International Crimes Division.
They were violently bundled into a waiting Toyota Noah vehicle and driven to an unspecified location. Now, the army spokesperson, Brigadier Richard Karemire, says the suspects were picked up by a joint team of security forces and are locked up at a gazetted facility on allegations that they are peace violators.
“Our people deserve peace and security forces will do whatever they can within the laws established to ensure that,” said Karemire.
Karemire, who declined to reveal where the suspects are being held, referred our reporter to the recent President Yoweri Museveni’s recent social media write up on security in the country.
“Secondly, the political leaders must harmonize with the courts on the issue of the fundamental concept of justice. The NRM concept, for most of the time, is an eye for an eye; a tooth for a tooth. It is only in politics where we adopted reconciliation as a strategy. Part of the reason for being soft in reconciliation is that we had already punished our opponents seriously in war," reads Museveni message in part.
Adding that “It is therefore not correct to say that those mistake-makers were not punished. They were punished in the conflict. With peace, it was in the national interest to reconcile. This is totally different from the phenomenon of civilian courts condoning, aiding and abetting crime by, contrary to the wishes of the country, exonerating criminals. This is promoting impunity."
Museveni also noted the need to work on the courts most especially on how they can move quickly on the cases of murder, rape, terrorism, and making punishments to be severe, including the hanging of killers.
The rearrest of the freed suspects has been condemned by the Uganda Law Society and the Judiciary. This is the second time this year that the suspects in the Kaweesi murder case have been rearrested at court premises after being granted bail.