Human rights activists from Center for Constitutional Governance (CCG) and Human Rights Network (HURINET) have asked President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni to fire his ambassador to Burundi Rtd Maj. Gen Matayo Kyaligonza. Also, they want him and his body guards tried in criminal courts not the court martial.
Gen Kyaligonza and his bodyguards RA/221607 L/CPL Bushindiki Peter and RA/230927 Peter Okurut John Robert have dominated news headline since Sunday morning after a video clip circulated on social media showing them assaulting a Traffic officer Sergeant Esther Namaganda along Seeta- Mukono road. Namaganda was slapped two times which made her sustain some bruises and she was receiving medical attention.
According to Namaganda’s statement recorded at police, Maj. Gen. Kyaligonza’s car registration number 18CDM1 reportedly made a wrongful U-turn in the middle of the road. This forced her to stop the car to inquire why the driver violated the traffic rules however she was instead assaulted by the three violent men.
UPDF through their spokesman Brig Richard Karemire apologized for the incident and arrested the two bodyguards, however, the public still demands Kyaligonza face law.
Karemire today also said the military does not have jurisdiction over retired generals like Kyaligonza, and referred media comments to the police.
Addressing a press conference on Monday at CCG offices in Kampala, HURINET boss Patrick Tumusiime said that all victims involved in this unlawful action must face charges in the criminal courts. He also President Museveni to take action on his comrade.
“We ask the president to fire his general from all the diplomatic duties of this country because he is no longer worthy to represent our country anywhere and we also ask the army authorities to let him be tried in criminal courts,” said Tumusiime.
Mr Tumusiime added that the concept of the rule of law is the principle that all people and all institutions are subject to.
“The rule of law demands that all individuals groups or government must submit to, obey and be regulated by law, and not arbitrary actions by an individual or group. Retired general Kyaligonza should resign, be arrested and charged,” added Tumwiine.
The Director CCG, Sarah Bireete added that however much Kyaligonza is a retired general he had to show his bodyguards the right way and because he failed he must be dealt with.
“The person involved in the assaulting of a public officer in the course of her duties is non-other than a member of the NRM’s highest ruling organ- the Central Executive Committee and Ambassador. His conduct is contrary to the conduct expected of persons occupying top leadership offices in the country,” said Bireete.
Meanwhile, Uganda Police Force and the ministry of the internal affair are to summon Uganda’s ambassador to Burundi Maj. Gen Matayo Kyaligonza over assaults of their officer.
On Sunday a video clip circulated all over social media showing Maj. Gen Kyaligonza together with his two bodyguards from Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces RA/221607 L/CPL Bushindiki Peter and RA/230927 Peter Okurut John Robert assaulting Uganda Police Traffic officer Sergeant Esther Namaganda along Seeta- Mukono road.
On Monday Police spokesperson Fred Enanga said in a press conference held at Naguru police Headquarters that Kyaligonza has to be summoned but protocols must be followed since he is a diplomat.
“As police, we strongly condemn such actions of brutality by UPDF soldiers and Uganda’s Ambassador to Burundi upon our officer who was doing her work in a professional way.”
Enanga added, “We are going to request to record a statement from him the through the ministry of internal affairs to ministry of foreign affairs on probable charges of assault and wrongful obstruction of an officer on duty.”
Enanga also said that two teams have been put in place to investigate into this matter. The first team is going to head by Traffic Commander Kampala Metropolitan and the second will be headed by CID commander fro KMP.
Enanga assured the public that no stone will be left unturned, and whoever was involved in this action will face the laws.
“There is no General who is above the law, the law will always hook you up, the only challenge is that the army always prefer charging their officers in the court-martial but for this case, they assaulted someone which is a criminal offence for which they will charged with the criminal case.” Said Enanga,