The Uganda Human Rights Commission has thrown its weight behind Ugandans against the unfortunate re-arrests of the Kaweesi Murder suspects who had been freed on bail by the magistrate’s court.
This statement was by the UHRC chairperson Medi Mulumba early this morning where he criticized government for undermining fundamental rights.
Four of the 14 suspects linked to the murder were rearrested by armed personnel in civilian clothes shortly after they had been granted bail by Nakawa Grade 1 Magistrate Noah Sajjabbi on Tuesday. They include Abdul Majid Ojegere, Ahmed Senfuka, Ibrahim Kisa and Umaru Maganda.
The Suspects, charged with three counts of Terrorism, Murder and Aggravated Robbery were arrested from different places between March and April this year, following the gruesome murder that involved Kaweesi, his Bodyguard Kenneth Erau and Driver Godfrey Mambewa. They were gunned down in Kulambiro, a suburb of Kampala.
The suspects had spent six months on remand without being committed for trial. Their taste of freedom was however short lived when they are confronted by armed personnel and rearrested moments after.
UHRC Commissioner Meddie Mulumba described the rearrests as unacceptable and cruel adding that the Ministry of Internal Affairs must provide answers on why the suspects were rearrested as well as a justification for their continued detention without trial.
Addressing journalists on Friday, UHRC chairperson Medi Mulumba said there are a lot of unanswered questioned from government in regards to the ugly scenes on Tuesday.
“The manner in which the re-arrests were carried out was inhumane and degrading which clearly shows a gross violation of article 24 of the Constitution,”Mulumba said.
“We will not stop condemning such acts that violate human rights like the re-arresting of bailed persons which raises questions on whether the security agents had arrest warrants of whether their actions would not be a contempt of the court that granted bail.”
There was a scuffle as men in plain clothes arrested Ahmed Ssenfuka one of the suspects who had been released on bail by Nakawa magistrate’s court.
Ssenfuka made an alarm for help from by-passers and also tried to fight off his tormentors who were arm twisting him in a bid to handcuff him.
With the help of traffic police officers, the security operatives were able to handcuff Ssenfuka before bundling him into a waiting vehicle that took off to an unknown destination.
Later, the accused’s lawyers led by Geoffrey Turyamusiima said that in total, four people including Umaru Maganda, Ahmed Ssenfuka,Ibrahim Kisa and Abdul Majid Ojegere had been re-arrested and detained at unknown places.
Efforts by the lawyers to trace their clients proved futile as they failed to find them.
However, according to Uganda Human Rights Commission, it raises concerns that the four suspects have since their re-arrest been held incommunicado in unknown places which contravenes article 23(5) (a) and (b) which provides that their lawyers and next of kin should be allowed to access them.
The commission said that government through the ministry of Internal Affairs has a lot of unanswered questioned in regards to the incident on Tuesday.
“Government needs to tell us who the non- uniformed and gun wielding men who carried out the re-arrests .Which charges if any were they re-arrested for,” Uganda Human Rights Commission noted.
The commission also tasked government to reveal the places where the four suspects are detained on top of their health condition