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Posted: July 27, 2007 in Blog

Gov’t probes police role in Muhumuza kidnap

By Jude Luggya and Christopher Mason
July 27, 2007

The government yesterday announced that the inspector general of police has launched an inquiry to examine how Mr. Goddy Muhumuza came to be whisked away by police and taken to Butabika Hospital under the premise that he was suffering from mental health problems.

Minister of State for Internal Affairs Matia Kasaija told Parliament that the inquiry would investigate how policemen picked Mr. Muhumuza from his home and the role of Butabika hospital staff in the saga.

“The law will take its course if anyone is found wanting in this case,” the minister said.

Daily Monitor last week broke the story of how Mr. Muhumuza was picked from near his home in Mukono District and taken to Butabika where he survived being injected with a sedative, allegedly to calm him on the premise that he was mentally ill.

Mr. Kasaija’s pronouncement is a reaction to last week’s demand by Parliament that a probe be instituted to determine the circumstances under which police ‘kidnapped’ Mr. Muhumuza and took him to Butabika.

The investigation, according to Mr. Kasaija, will examine the basis under which the order was issued, as well as investigate whether anyone misled authorities with allegations that Mr. Muhumuza was insane.

Mr. Muhumuza, a Makerere University legal advisor and attorney to the high court, was arrested from his home in Kirowooza, Mukono and taken to Butabika national mental referral hospital on July 10 under the pretext by policemen that he was mentally ill.

Mr. Muhumuza claimed that Inspector of Police John Okalany, Mr. Rashid Agero, Mr. Robert Okia, and Mr. James Magade led the policemen to his home.

Mr. Kasaija said the Inspector General of Police, Maj. Gen. Kale Kayihura, instituted the inquiry.

Reacting to the development, Oyam North MP Ben Wacha said with or without the inquiry, the conduct of the police, to selectively react to particular complaints leaving others unattended to, is suspect.

“I think in this case police failed,” Mr. Wacha said. “And that left a lot of latitude for other authorities to act.”

However, Mr. Kasaija insisted that the police acted upon complaints by some of Mr. Muhumuza’s relatives that he [Muhumuza] was mad.

Parliament on Wednesday summoned Dr. Fred Kigozi, the director of Butabika hospital, to shed more light on claims that his medical staff connive with police and end up declaring clinically sane people mad.

  1. Kaszasgirl says:

    Holy scandal, Batman! I guess it beats covering Parliament Hill…

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