Members of Parliament sitting on the Defense Committee this morning grilled UPDF officials led by the Minister of State for Veteran Affairs, Bright Rwamirama over the manner in which the army through the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI) rearrested some of the suspects accused of murdering Andrew Felix Kaweesi, who had been set free by Court.
The MPs wanted the Minister to explain where the army derives the mandate to arrest and re-arrest suspects…a role of other security agencies.
MP Theodore Sekikubo warned of a culture that is cropping up of the army taking over the role of the police, which he said portrays lack of cooperation within the security forces in the country.
Ntoroko MP, Gerald Ibanda noted, “We find it disturbing on the way the suspects were rearrested; these were people who were under your custody. There was a better way they could have been rearrested. Why not do the operation professionally?”
Butambala MP, Muwanga Kivumbi tasked the Minister to provide the operation details, saying that the army was risking going out of the mandate and creating a culture of impunity.
In response, Minister Rwamirama said he wasn’t comfortable to respond to such issues that are already before the courts of law.
He noted however, that after the arrest, the suspects were handed back to the police who later produced them before the Courts of law.
The Minister also emphasized that there is no impasse within the security forces adding that the UPDF, just like the Police, CMI, and even civilians can all arrest criminals.
Rwamirama regretted the manner in which the Kaweesi murder suspects were rearrested but noted that if they were left to go, they would have fled the country to join ADF.
“Whatever happened during the rearrest was an oversight and regrettable, I agree there was a better way of handling it,” Rwamirama said.