Recently, Uganda Police Force (UPF) top officials have been on a charm offensive with the Buganda kingdom and the Catholic Church to atone for the sins of their officers who fired tear gas at Mbogo clan members attending a thanksgiving ceremony.
The clan members had gathered at their ancestral site at Mugulu – Ziggoti town council to attend prayers for their leader, Gajuule Kayiira Kasibante. The mass which was being led by retired Masaka Diocesan Bishop John Baptist Kaggwa was disrupted by the tear gas.
The police operation was led by Alex Mwine- Mukono, the Mityana district police commander (DPC). Kasibante served as head of Buganda’s 52 clans for seven years until recently when the Kabaka Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II replaced him with Omutaka Namwama Augustine Nsereko.
Earlier, the police spokesman Fred Enanga had explained that police and the army had fired tear gas because the people had not observed social distancing which is one of the standard operating procedures for preventing the spread of Covid-19.
The act of police leaders reaching out to those who were wronged by their officers is humbling and novel in the way UPF relates to citizens. But, is not adequate.
It is not clear why DPC Mwine-Mukono, who wronged the religious leaders and clan members, did not personally apologise to them! Did the police leadership decide to shoulder the burden on behalf of its errant officers?
It is also unfortunate that police decided to transfer Mwine to another station in Hoima district. A transfer may not serve as a disciplinary measure. No wonder the leaders of Hoima have indicated that they would not have Mwine whose conduct is questionable and under investigations as their police commander.
The police ought to have shown that the act of Mwine and his other colleagues was deplorable and they deserve to be tried in the Professional Standards Unit. Mwine has a pending court case.
The Mityana municipality member of parliament, Francis Zaake, has taken him to court to personally answer charges of assault and torturing him. Police ought to discipline its officers in order to prove that they meant well when they sought the forgiveness of the church and the kingdom.
Some officers who carry out their duties with impunity ought to know that they are not above the law.