By Ben Musanje
A mobile money agent at Kubbiri Veterans Market in Wandegeya Kawempe division has accused police officers of snatching his money amounting to UGX 2.2 million shillings during their attempt to arrest him for improper wearing of a face mask.
This follows an operation in which police and Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) taskforce enforcement officers under the orders of the Kampala Resident City Commissioner (RCC) Hussein Hudu beat and arrested some traders found trading alongside Gayaza road with their kiosks and stalls destroyed over defying the Presidential directive of staying home during this 42days lockdown.
Ibrah Ssemakula a mobile money agent at Kubbiri, explains that on June 22 this year at about 4pm police officers in Kaki uniform seated on patrol vehicle registration number UP 7727 parked at Shell Kubbiri -Kimwanyi Wandegeya just opposite his workplace, stopped him as he was moving towards his routine customer only identified as Emmanuel, beat him up and later took his money.
Human rights defenders say this is against Ssemakula rights and want him to get get justice. They say many security officers are infringing beatings on people who could be breaking laws but that should not make the officers commit human right violations against people because there are proper channels in which these acts can be handled.
Ssemakula says that in the process of escaping from the beatings, his box containing the business cash he was holding was grabbed by some police officers and took off with it. Ssemakula now wants the leadership of police to investigate on the officers that used that patrol vehicle on that day to return his business cash.
However, according to the Kampala Metropolitan Deputy Police Spokesperson Luke Owoyesigyire, Semakula’s money box fell down as he tried to ran away from the police officers who attempted to arrest him for not wearing properly a face mask.
Owoyesigyire explains that upon falling down, the box opened and money scattered but unknown persons collected it and gave it to his sister a one Dorothy Nakitende since Semakula had sustained injuries on his head.
According to the eye witness, Semakula crossed the road while holding his box containing his business cash to meet his customer a one Emmanuel whom he always transact with Mobile money business, that when he was about to reach, he saw a patrol vehicle parked at the shell getting some fuel and some police officers dressed in police uniform (kaki type) were down questioning one man who was moving not putting on a mask.
Another female officer turned to him and asked why he was not wearing his mask properly which generated a scuffle between the two hence attracting the attention of other officers on UP 7727 for help, and later Semakula managed to escape and ran back across, he fell down and police officers managed to arrest him.
Owoyesigyire says they discovered that the patrol vehicle plus its personnel are attached to Old Kampala police station but the crew denied picking the money in an interview taken from them though they mention of a lady they saw collecting the victim’s money and gave it back to him.
He says that after the inquiries into the matter are completed, the case files are to be submitted to RSSA for legal guidance.