By Peter Ssebulime
Kampala: The Uganda Police are singing praises for their errant officer Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Rashid Agero, who brutalised Col. Dr. Kizza Besigye in Nakawa a few days back, instead of arresting and prosecuting him.
Infamous SSP Agero commanded the operation that was deployed to disperse Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) supporters who had gathered for a conference a few days ago at Namboole stadium, which had been organised for Kira Municipality Member of Parliament Ibrahim Semujju Nganda.
During the violent scuffles that erupted as police dispersed FDC supporters, many sustained injuries, while cops fired a water canon at Dr. Besigye, before Agero was filmed smashing Besigye’s car, spraying pepper inside it, before brutally dragging him out and bundling him onto a police truck that drove him to Nagalama police station. Agero’s acts attracted criticism from human rights activists, civil society organisations, religious leaders, international community and other human rights watchers.
However, in reply to the public outcry, the Police Spokesperson, Fred Enanga, said that whatever SSP Agero and his juniors did to Besigye and other members of FDC was within the laws and well streamlined in standards police operations procedures, particularly when handling riotous crowds.
Enanga said that “Besigye adamantly parked in the middle of road disrupting traffic flow, especially at Spear Motors junction. All engagements with Besigye hit a snag and available measures had to be used to clear the road to allow the smooth movement of road users.”
Agero is seen in a video that has since gone viral smashing Besigye’s vehicle using a gun butt in addition to pepper-spraying him inside his vehicle. The four-time presidential candidate survived hitting his head on the tarmac when he was splashed with water cannons.
While addressing the media a day after the incident that was widely condemned, Besigye said he was only saved by people inside his car who held his legs as the water cannons thrust him in all directions.
But Enanga insisted that “The Anti-Riot Police also known as Field Force Police –FFP used well-known measures to deal with defiant people.”
Besigye and other FDC members have since started a campaign to raise one million signatures from Ugandans to have President Yoweri Museveni and other security officers dragged to International Criminal Court- ICC based at Hague in the Netherlands.