Uganda Police Force has refuted claims that a cop held former Supreme Court judge George Kanyeihamba hostage, saying the constitutional law expert actually pestered for a gun from his guard.
The incident, which police described as “minor”, occurred at Kanyehamba’s residence in Buziga, Kampala.
“A police guard at the retired Judge’s home lost his father and he requested his principal, who is Prof. Kanyeihamba, to allow him go for the burial,” said police in a statement on Friday night.
“Retired Justice Kanyeihamba ordered him to hand over the gun to him, which the guard rejected.”
According to the force’s standing orders, a police officer isn’t allowed to hand over his firearm to unauthorised persons.
Police further said the retired Justice “ordered other workers to lock the gate and not to allow the guard to leave.”
The police guard called his superiors, who went to the residence and he handed over his gun to them before a new guard was deployed to cover his beat.
“Therefore rumours circulating that the Retired Justice was held hostage by his guard aren’t true,” said Police.
“The guard has been given pass leave to go and bury his father. The Justice has got a new guard.”
The 79-year-old retired judge is not new to drama.
A few years ago, he publicly clashed with MPs he was representing in court.
Kanyeihamba, a practicing lawyer, also has been involved in multiple altercations with judges over the management of cases.
Police said it was “unfortunate that the retired Justice decided to alarm the public that he is being held hostage well knowing that he is the one who ordered other workers to lock the gate.”
The enforcement body “commended the officer for sticking to the VIP guard protocols , and at the same time urge the rest of the VIP guards to do the same at all time.”
George W. Kanyeihamba was appointed a member of the Supreme Court of Uganda in 1997 and retired in November 2009.
Previously, he served as minister of commerce, minister of justice, and attorney-general, all in President Museveni’s administration.
He holds a Ph.D. in law from the University of Warwick.