After a wave of brutality and excesses have hit the Ugandan scene, a team of activists led by Namatta Annette alias Nana Mwafrika will relaunch the ‘Stop police brutality’ campaign.
This comes just days after another tragedy ensued on Tuesday as Uganda police and the KCCA law enforcement brutally launched a raid on city street vendors and injured a 14 year old girl and her mother. Nankya Lowena, a senior six student of Lugazi mixed school was shot by a rubber bullet fired a police officer attached to the Field Force Unit. (FFU) Eye witnesses say, Lowena was with her mother at the time of the shooting when they bumped into a city protest at the old taxi park. “The girl stopped to observe what was happening only to be hit with a rubber bullet that tore through her cheeks and left three teeth plucked out,” he says. “Her mother too, was shot in the hand. They were then engulfed by plumes of teargas smoke till vendors bundled them to a Boda Boda to rush them for medication,” he adds.
Lowena and her mother are not the only victims to face the wrath of the police brutality. Just less than a month back, People Power supporters ; Ritah Nabukenya, 28 and Daniel Kyeyune, 33 lost their lives to the recklessness of the men in uniform. Ritah was intentionally knocked by a police patrol vehicle while Dan was allegedly shot by a security officer attached to the Local Defence Unit.
Lowena’s matter has apparently hit the floor of the tenth parliament with MPs questioning the elevating police brutality meted out on unarmed citizens. However, Uganda’s parliament is itself a victim of brutality exhibited by the armed forces and so less can be expected of them. “They were beaten during the age limit plenary. What much can they change? You saw how they turned a blind eye to the violent Makerere strike last year,’ says Musiri David, a student activist in support of the stop police brutality campaign. “Our politicians will stop at taking pictures with the victim and then she will be left out,” he adds.
Doctors say Lowena may spend the rest of her adult life in handicap. Her jaws, nerves and entire dentine were dislodged by the force of the rubber bullet. This has affected her speaking abilities and yet she has classes to attend. Her grief stricken mother says she is disturbed by the fact that her daughter is a candidate and yet the treatment is to cost some ample time estimated at six months.
Nana says her campaign is based on such lively experiences. “I am a victim myself. My uterus was lost to the police. And now we are losing more youths. We can’t seat comfortably,” she says. In a related Facebook post, she has confirmed the campaign is to resume this very week at the police headquarters in Naguru.
‘I call on you all. ..Now that we are learning …police Brutality will and is hurting anyone anybody any time anywhere and not only Activists’ , politicians and writers, we must get on board and cause it’s end.
Uganda police force…work is lately ranging from killing… taking uteruses, squeezing balls and knocking out teeth from young girls’ mouths!… Whatever their fantasy is around private parts of Ugandans..!! This insanity must stop.
Your physical self, your every support is needed towards the campaign that started end of January 2020… ” Stop police Brutality”. Let’s collectively turn the force into a Service.’