2 remanded for torturing pregnant woman

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The suspects in court

A Police Officer Francis Mpande and one Asimwe Junior, of the Village Defence Unit have been charged on offences of aggravated torture.

The pair was Monday remanded to Kitalya Prison until 27/04/2020.

The duo beat a pregnant woman Mercy Nakate accusing her of flouting COVID-19 guidelines.

“We continue to receive numerous complaints from around the country and a team has been assembled to address such concerns,” said Anti-Corruption Unit – State House Uganda head Lt Col Edith Nakalema.

Victoria University

“We appeal to the public to continue reporting any cases regarding torture by security forces in this period.”

The pair

Background  

The arrest followed a directive by President Museveni after he received reports of the alleged beating and torture of Ms Mercy Nakate.

Nakate, 23, a resident of Busega, Kibumbiro Village, Busega in Rubaga, Kampala, was reportedly beaten on March 27th by a group of policemen and village defence unit officials who were conducting a patrol.

According to Nakate, who is seven-months pregnant, on the fateful night she had moved out of her house to buy a herb (emumbwa) when rain forced her to seek shelter at a common makeshift socialisation facility used by residents.

Nakate with a medical personnel

“It was then that the policemen who were on patrol found us and immediately began beating us. The other people ran away but given my condition I could not run. They descended on me, hitting and kicking me despite my cries for mercy,” she said.

Her colleagues later came and helped her get back home.

The following day, she went to report the case to the nearby police station, but the officer in charge instead convinced her to drop the matter in exchange for medical support.

However, the President got to learn of the incident and yesterday directed Lt Col Edith Nakalema, the head of the State House Anti-Corruption Unit to investigate the matter.

The victim

Subsequently, detectives led by SP Jackson Tweheyo, were dispatched to Kibumbiro Village, causing the arrest of Constables Francis Mpande and Noah Massajjage, who were in charge of the patrol exercise.

Also arrested is Asiimwe Junior, a member of a village defence unit.

A one Edirisa Kitooke, a Parish Intelligence Security Officer (PISO), and another only identified as Ndawula, who were reportedly part of this operation are said to be on the run.

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