President Yoweri Museveni has assured the country that he will defeat assassins who ride on boda bodas and kill prominent government officials.
This style was used to murder former state prosecutor, Joan Kagezi, in Kiwatule, outside Kampala and most recently, former police chief, Felix Kaweesi.
They used the same style to murder Sheikh Mustafa Bahiga, Hajji Daktur Muwaya, Sheik Jowat Madangu, Sheikh Yusuf Ssentamu, Sheik Yunis Sentuga, Hajji Mohammed Sebagala, Tito Okware, Constable Driver Wambewo Godfrey, Cpl Erau Kenneth, No. 1404 SPC Karim Tenywa, No. 54812 PC Babale Muzamiro, Owori John Steven, No. 44957 Cpl Owori Julius, SPC Isiko, Macho Steven, Okumu Ronald, Sheik Rashid Wafula, Major Kiggundu, among other victims.
In his letter to the Chief of Defence Forces, The Inspector General of Police and Director General of Intelligence Services about torture, Museveni told these security chiefs there was no need to panic.
He said torturing victims suspected of assassination plots could elicit the wrong message and would take the country back to the days of anarchy.
“Therefore, the use of torture is unnecessary and wrong and must not be used again if it was being used as I see some groups claiming in the media.”
Museveni said the criminals are most annoying by using the cowardly but shallow methods of the boda bodas, taking advantage of the large number of vehicles and people in order to commit crime and hide.
“That, however, should not make us panic and go back to the defective traditional methods of okutatsya. We defeated Lakwena, we defeated Kony who was being heavily supported by external elements, we defeated the ADF that was, again, being heavily supported by foreigners, we defeated the UPA of Teso and disarmed the Karimojong cattle-rustlers by removing 40,000 rifles from them.”
He added: “We cannot fail to cope with cowards using boda bodas to kill people who are peacefully sitting in their cars or walking along the streets. With a little adjustment, we shall avenge the deaths.”
Museveni told the security chiefs that their annoyance with these criminals should not make them opt for defective short cuts.
These are hardened criminals by default who think that by denying they can kill and escape accountability, he noted, adding that however, government shall get them using patient means of evidence but not through torture because evidence through torture is not reliable.
“It is, therefore, clear that torture to extract confessions (okutatsya) has three possible mistakes that may even interfere with the fight against crime.”
“Number one, you may torture the wrong person, somebody who is totally innocent. This is very unfair. Secondly, somebody may admit guilt when he is innocent to be spared being tortured. This will make the real criminal escape to commit more crimes later. Thirdly, confessions by the criminals are not necessary.”
He said even if the suspects do not admit their guilt, if the investigators do their work well (finger-prints, photo-graphs, DNA tests, eye-witnesses, the use of other scientific methods, the use of dogs etc), the criminals can get convicted.