Infighting within Uganda Security System

Official statement from PRO Uganda Police Force has warned its sister security agency, the Internal Security Organization (ISO), for engaging in acts of torture.

This came after a police constable, Isma Ssemwogerere, was tortured to death by ISO agents over last week at their offices in Kawempe Division, Kampala.

Issuing a security brief on Monday at the police headquarters in Naguru, Police spokesperson CP Fred Enanga said ISO operatives breached security operation procedures which provide for coordination with other security agencies.

According to Enanga, the incident started as a domestic related complaint. Ssemwogerere was accused of threatening violence by his partner at Kalerwe Police Station.

Ssemwogerere was arrested and questioned before being released on police bond. But the seeing Ssemwogerere free, the woman returned to the Police Station where she claimed her husband occasionally possessed a gun.

She said Ssemwogerere received the gun from a police constable identified as Gideon Mbarire who is attached to Kabulengwa Police Post.

Mr Enanga said this information was picked up by the office of the District Internal Security Officer (ISO), Kawempe.

The arrest of Ssemwogerere

“The DISO together with ISO operatives then went straight to Kabulengwa and arrested PC Gideon,” he added.

ISO operatives bypassed Wandegeya Police Station and even Kawempe Police Division Headquarters which supervises police stations in the area before dumping Ssemwogerere at their offices.

“If they (ISO operatives) had followed the security operation procedures, we would still be having our officer very alive,” said Enanga.

Ssemwogerere was eventually subjected to interrogation full of torture.

According to Enanga, when the tortured police officer became unconscious, the operatives then attempted to dump him at Kawempe Police Division “but we rejected and they took him to Mulago Referral Hospital.”

At Mulago, it was established that Ssemwogerere had already passed on.Pathologists also rejected admission of Ssemwogerere’s body without proper documentation.

The police publicist said operatives later recorded a statement at Mulago Police Station claiming Ssemwogerere was a victim of mob justice.

However, Police said investigations have kicked off with the officer in charge of Kalerwe Police identified as ASP Kasadha Yakut and a detective being arrested.”

Police detectives also are pursuing ISO operatives at Kawempe identified as Muhammad Kimbugwe, Kawaga Difat and Lt Swalleh Twegumisa who are on the run.

Also on the hunt list is the commander of ISO’s operations at Kawempe whose offices acted as the torture chamber.

Cases of ISO overstepping its mandate to arrest and harass civilians have been on the rise in recent years. Several businessmen have been detained incommunicado by ISO while others have complained of torture at the hands of the security agency’s operatives.

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