The Inspector General of Police, Martin Okoth Ochola, has directed the Criminal Investigations Directorate to probe allegations of extortion by surgeons. The directive follows public outcry on reports that victims of crime are asked to pay before they are examined by surgeons.
The reports indicate that assault victims are often charged 20,000 Shillings while persons with rape complaints are directed to specific clinics where they pay between 30,000 to 100,000 Shillings for an examination, which is ideally supposed to be conducted at no cost.
The medical examination is done to provide evidence that can be used by investigators to verify the type of sexual assault that occurred, support statements by the victims and sometimes, identify perpetrators, especially in cases involving sexual abuse. It is a key piece of evidence for cases that end up in courts of law.
There are also accusations that often, the police surgeon asks for payment from victims in order to appear in court as a witness, to support the authenticity of the examination. The absence of the examination and the failure by the surgeon to appear in the court implies that victims cannot have access to the criminal justice system.
Police Spokesperson Fred Enanga says that the Inspector General of Government has now directed the CIID boss Grace Akullo to establish the authenticity of the reports and ensure that the culprits are brought to book. Enanga urged people who have been charged any amount of money in order to be examined by police surgeons to avail information to police, adding that it is unfair to charge a victim of any crime, for a service that should be provided free of charge.