Uganda Human Rights Commission has today joined in the chorus of calls for punitive action against Ugandan Ambassador to Burundi, Maj Gen Matayo Kyaligonza, along with his bodyguards who are implicated in the assault of a female traffic police officer on duty.
The assault, which was filmed and quickly went viral on Sunday, involved traffic police officer Sergeant Esther Namaganda, who was roughed up by Gen Kyaligonza and his guards, when she attempted to stop them from making a U turn.
The Commission in a statement said it “condemned in the strongest terms the assault of the police officer who was lawfully performing her duties.”
“Worse still, the handling of a woman by male security officers is unacceptable and a clear affront on her dignity as a woman,” wrote Patrick Nyakaana, the Commission Secretary.”
The Commission on the other hand commended the police officer Sergeant Namaganda “for remaining steadfast and sticking to the requirements of the law without fear or favour.”
“She stood her ground amidst enormous pressure and the consequent manhandling she endured. Police Officer William Aliku who reportedly tried to intervene calling for calm and reason; and eventually driving her away, is equally commended. “
The army has since arrested Gen Kyalogonza’s bodyguards, while the ambassador himself was summoned to appear before police, to face possible assault charges.
But even with all the, the Human Rights Commission says more needs to be, including “prosecution of the perpetrators under the Prevention and Prohibition of Torture Act, 2012, which provides for individual liability of the security officers whose actions were in this case tantamount to violation of the victims’ enjoyment of the right to respect for human dignity and protection from inhuman treatment.”
The Commission also called for thorough investigations of Major General Kyaligonza’s role in the fracas “to establish his innocence or responsibility/liability for acts of his body guards in accordance with Section 10 of the Prevention and Prohibition of Torture Act, 2012.”
It also called for redress for the victims which should ensure adequate compensation and reparation for the indignity, injury and losses suffered in the process.
Parliament yesterday passed a motion calling among others for Kyaligonza to be stripped of his ambassadorial role.