By Spy Uganda
The Chief of Defence Forces (CDF) Gen David Muhoozi has apologized for the brutality some members of the armed forces meted out to Ugandans last week while enforcing president Yoweri Museveni’s ‘Stay Home’ directive, as a way of preventing the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19).
Gen Muhoozi made the apology in a statement he issued on Monday, in which he also revealed that the officers who acted with high-handedness have since been apprehended and will be prosecuted.
The mainstream and social media were last week awash with photos of Local Defence Unit (LDU) operatives and Uganda Peoples Defence Forces (UPDF) soldiers caning old women and youth as they chased them out of the city back to their homes. The photos that circulated in the media attracted global criticism against the UPDF and LDU for unleashing brutality against Ugandans and it is for that reason that Gen Muhoozi apologized on behalf of the armed forces.
In his statement, Gen. Muhoozi said that “To clear the air about some aspects of our work, to the extent that this relates to the support we are giving to civil authority-in this particular case, MOH, which is the lead MDA, in the fight against COVID-19/Coronavirus. I wanted to share information with the public, regarding an incident that happened last Thursday. But before that I want to say;
This is a global threat
It’s a major and serious national threat.
We already have some cases in our midst.
It is real, its magnitude is unprecedented-on humanity and all countries of the world in terms of fast spread, in terms of risk to life, in terms of effect to all aspects of national and International life.
We have been educated by experts that prevention is at the core of preventing this virus which has no ascertained cure at the moment.
Prevention is mainly through deconcentration and compliance with the advice given by experts: of washing hands, abandoning shaking hands, hugging, touching of the T-section of the head especially the eyes, nose and mouth.
The measures pronounced by the Chief Executive of the country to enhance what the experts say and to prevent the spread are now within the region of 15 so far, including the closure of schools, closure of worship places, closure of all manner of congregations including weddings and public markets, as well as closure of the International Airport and borders and last, public transport among others.”
He continues that “This brings me to the issue of these ladies, who were beaten by the security forces. They were reportedly selling fruits. Their handling was high handed, unjustified and regrettable. I do apologise to them and fellow countrymen.
The culprits were apprehended and will be dealt with. We have also since instituted additional improvements –including changing command, to ensure better supervision and drawing up elaborate Rules of Engagement to guide the security services in their enforcement work, related to the COVID-19 fight. Our roles in the big scheme of things were elaborated in our Joint Taskforce Plan. We have a task force of all the security agencies…”