By Our Reporter
Popular self-proclaimed city Prophet Elvis Allan Mbonye has written a lengthy petition, protesting the manner in which police detectives are handling investigations into matters concerning his Zoe Ministries and church.
Spy Uganda has that leanrt, through his lawyers Walyemera & Co. Advocates, Mnonye has written a long petition to the Director, Criminal Investigations Directorate (CID) Uganda Police Force boss AIGP Akullo Grace, regarding the same.
In his letter to the CID boss, Mbobye instructed lawyers to draw Grace Akullo’s attention to the manifested abuse of process, inordinate delays, violations of rights and bad faith prevalent in the conduct of police’s investigations on him and his Church activities.
Our Spy reveals that the investigations are in regard to the alleged publication of misleading statements contrary to section 23 (1) of the Immunization Act, 2016, concerning the recent mass immunization exercise against Polio, Measles and Rubella.
“We note with disquiet, the slothful and painstakingly slow progress of investigations on the part of the Uganda Police Force, that seems to appear deliberate,” Mbonye’s letter reads in part.
He adds that “As you are aware, on 17th October 2019, Prophet Mbonye was summoned to your offices for an interview and statement taking, in relation to the aforementioned allegations. He at the time was unable to appear in person. This is because he was out of the country, but still complied with the invitation through his legal representatives, that interfaced with the investigating officers.”
Mbobye claims in the letter that upon return from his overseas engagements and in compliance with the said police summons, he personally appeared at Kibuli on 28th October 2019 and recorded a statement.
It is said that while recording his statement, Mbonye revealed his official and only social media communication channels under his name. It was categorically clarified that Prophet Mbonye is not ‘Mugisha Elvis Mbonye’ who is alleged to have authored or published the social media post, which has become the subject matter of police investigations.
However, despite the above clarification Mbonye and his lawyers wonder why he has since been subjected to numerous unnecessary, unending and disrupting appearances at the CID offices in light of the Police Bond requirements.
“We take the firm view that the inquiry and investigations into this otherwise straight forward matter is unreasonably and deliberately being delayed. It is quite absurd that while Prophet Mbonye’s Facebook communication channel is widely known, the investigating officers deliberately and strategically choose to be ‘mistaken’ concerning his identity. Unrestrained unprofessional like in the instant case, undisputed,” further reads Mbonye’s letter.
The lawyers add that Prophet Mbonye has been reportedly led, on several occasions, to many wrongful arrests, malicious prosecutions and consequently costly claims and awards against government.
According his lawyers this borders on infringement of his personal liberties and fundamental freedoms guaranteed by the 1995 Constitution of the Republic of Uganda under Articles 20 and 29 (2) among others.
The lawyers further explained that at all the aforementioned appearances, the investigating officers have not been forthcoming on the progress of the investigations and why the continued appearance of Prophet Mbonye is warranted.
They also note that measured complaints to the investigating officers on this matter have often been dismissed, with an aggressive display of power characterized by among others, threats of arrests.
They contend that all the above serves to demonstrate a very disturbing trend of abuse of process by the police, wherein unwarranted appearances are demanded of suspects under the guise of ‘continuing investigations’.
This, according to the lawyers contravenes the Supreme Court decision that laid bare the need for professionalism to uphold fundamental human rights by the police during criminal investigations in the recent case of Olara Otunnu versus Attorney General, Constitutional Petition No. 12 of 2010.
The lawyers also argue that this kind of conduct is contrary to the basic criminal investigations standards spelled out in the Criminal Investigations Department Standing Order Vol I and II of 1984 and the Uganda Police Force Act, Cap 303.
Mbonye’s lawyers thus call upon Grace Akullo as the head of the CID to intervene in this matter, with a view of concluding the now protracted, police investigations being undertaken by the investigating officers, whose incentive for this conduct is highly suspicious and inconveniencing their client.
The Director Public Prosecutions (DPP) Mike Chibita was also drawn to the above
developments and the DPP was requested, in exercise of his constitutional authority, to defend the rule of law, respect of pre-trial rights and constitutional freedoms.
The letter implores the DPP to ensure the eradication of human rights abuses by the police in the conduct of their investigations.
We look forward to cooperating with and hearing from you about this matter.
“If we do not get a positive response, in regard to this protest letter by 13 December, 2019, we shall be left with no option, but to enforce our client’s pre – trial and constitutional freedoms against individual police officers involved in this matter,” the lawyers cautioned.
Other relevant authorities who Mbonye’s lawyers copied in the letter include;
- The Director of Public Prosecutions.
- The Chairman, Uganda Human Rights Commission, Kampala, Uganda.
- The Attorney General, Kampala, Uganda.
- The Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Kampala, Uganda.
- The Human Rights Directorate, Uganda Police Force, Kampala, Uganda.
- The High Commissioner, British High Commission, Kampala, Uganda.
- The Head of Mission, Delegation of European Union to Uganda.
- The Ambassador, Embassy of the Netherlands, Kampala, Uganda.
- The Ambassador, Embassy of Ireland, Kampala, Uganda.
- The Ambassador, Embassy of the United States, Kampala, Uganda.
- The Representative, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human
Rights in Uganda, Kampala, Uganda.
- The Head of Office – Democratic Governance Facility, Kampala, Uganda.
- The Head of Police Standards Unit.
- The Inspector General of Police, Uganda Police Force.