The Director of Public Prosecution has cleared Assistant Superintendent of Police Gilbert Bwana Arinaitwe of any wrong doing in the brutal arrest of Kiiza Besigye, the former FDC president during the walk to work demonstration in 2011.

GILBERT ARINAITWE FROM THE ELITE BRIGADE (NOT FORMAL) OF THE UGANDA POLICE SMASHES THE WINDSCREEN OF KIZZA BESIGYE'S CAR WITH THE BUTT OF A PISTOL BEFORE ARRESTING HIM ON APRIL 28, 2011  Photo: Echwalu
GILBERT ARINAITWE FROM THE ELITE BRIGADE (NOT FORMAL) OF THE UGANDA POLICE SMASHES THE WINDSCREEN OF KIZZA BESIGYE’S CAR WITH THE BUTT OF A PISTOL BEFORE ARRESTING HIM ON APRIL 28, 2011 Photo: Echwalu

The DPP said in a letter to CIID Director that the Police officers acted within the law. He quoted section 22, 23, 24 of the police Act to defend this position.

According to DPP, the Police officers who effected the brutal arrest acted  within the law to direct Besigye to use Yusuf Lule road from Mulago Roundabout and his refusal was an offence to which police was entitled to arrest him.

“Section 2 of the Criminal Procedure Code act permits police to use all means necessary to effect an arrest where a person forcibly resists the endeavor to arrest him”, reads the letter to Grace Akullo, CIID Director.

AFTER SMASHING THE WINDSCREEN, PEPPER SPRAY TOGETHER WITH TEARGAS WAS SPRAYED ON KIZZA BESIGYE BEFORE BEING ARRESTED ON APRIL 28, 2011 Photo: Echwalu
AFTER SMASHING THE WINDSCREEN, PEPPER SPRAY TOGETHER WITH TEARGAS WAS SPRAYED ON KIZZA BESIGYE BEFORE BEING ARRESTED ON APRIL 28, 2011 Photo: Echwalu

According to the DPP, Besigye’s act of locking himself in the car and refusal to heed to advice to open the door and held up traffic at a critical intersection in town for two hours, made the action of the police justified.

In a letter dated 26th August 2014, addressed to Grace Akullo, the Director CIID, a copy of which URN had obtained, Linon Anguzo, the senior state Attorney who wrote on behalf of the DPP notes that there is no evidence to show that the means used to effect the arrest was unnecessary.

Anguzo says there is no clear evidence that the police officers committed any offence in effecting the arrest, adding that, “Arinaitwe could have acted a little high handed but he was justified in effecting the arrest.”

On April 28th 2011, heavily armed Policemen under the command of Assistant Inspector General of Police Grace Turyagumanawe, the then Kampala Metropolitan Police Commander intercepted Besigye at Mulago Hospital round about, to prevent him from accessing the city center.

TOO MUCH PEPPER SPRAY RENDERED KIZZA BESIGYE AND SOME OF HIS SUPPORTER HELPLESS BEFORE BEING ARRESTED ON APRIL 28, 2011 Photo: Echwalu
TOO MUCH PEPPER SPRAY RENDERED KIZZA BESIGYE AND SOME OF HIS SUPPORTER HELPLESS BEFORE BEING ARRESTED ON APRIL 28, 2011 Photo: Echwalu

Besigye locked himself in the vehicle forcing Turyagumanawe to knock on the windscreens to compel him to come out in vain.  However, unidentified man in civilian clothes who was later identified as Arinaitwe, approached the window of the car and drew a pistol.  He used the butt of the gun to smash the windscreen of Besigye’s vehicle.

Another man in civilian clothes also smashed the windscreen of the vehicle on the opposite side using a hammer before another cop, sprayed the occupants including Besigye with pepper spray. As a result, Besigye’s driver gave in and opened the door.

Besigye and his driver were arrested and bundled on a waiting police patrol vehicle.

The incident drew wide condemnation from opposition leaders, parliamentarians, civil society activists and the public.  They called for immediate investigations and prosecution of the officers involved in the brutal arrest.

AND HE WAS PUSHED UNDER A PICK-UP LIKE A POTATO THIEF Photo: Echwalu
AND HE WAS PUSHED UNDER A PICK-UP LIKE A POTATO THIEF Photo: Echwalu

Police bowed to the pressure and opened investigations vie CID/SIU/GEF 60/2011 in a case of Uganda versus D/ASP Arinaitwe Bwana Gilbert and others including Grace Turyagumananwe.

The officers were tentatively charged with using unnecessary excessive force contrary to the police act and the criminal Procedure Code Act as well as brutality.

The Directorate of Criminal Investigations and Intelligence (CIID) submitted the file to the DPP for perusal and advice.

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