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IGP Orders Officers to Refrain from Illegal Mak Staff Evictions :: Uganda Radionetwork

IGP Orders Officers to Refrain from Illegal Mak Staff Evictions

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The directive by the IGP was prompted by a petition by Elias Nuwagaba, a staff whose dismissal from the university was set aside by the university Staff Appeals Tribunal early this year.
JM Okoth-Ochola IGP -Police Photo

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The Inspector General of Police –IGP, Okoth Martins Ochola has cautioned Police officers attached to Makerere University to stay away from illegal eviction of staff from their quarters.   In a July 29th, 2019 letter signed by Assistant Inspector General of Police, Erasmus Twaruhukwa, the Director of Human Rights and Legal services Uganda Police Force, the IGP observes that police officers are being used in an illegal mission by University Authorities. 

“While it is clear that your deployment is to ensure the security of the University, you ought to keep in mind that this should be done professionally and in accordance with the law of the land. You should not allow yourself to be used in execution of matters that are illegal,” Twaruhukwa in the letter to Makerere University Chief Security officer.

  Adding that; “The purpose of this communication therefore is to require that you stop involving yourself in illegalities going contrary to the court’s lawful orders and carry out execution of your duties professionally. Should you encounter challenges in the work, consult your supervisors.”    

The directive by the IGP was prompted by a petition by Elias Nuwagaba, a staff whose dismissal from the university was set aside by the university Staff Appeals Tribunal early this year.  Through his lawyers Rwaganika, Baku & Co. Advocates, Nuwagaba told the IGP that although the tribunal set aside his dismissal on April 16, 2019; university authorities have ignored the orders and continued using police officers attached to the university to haunt him.  

“The authorities have clumped down heavily on our client with the use of police, which went to his premise in the company of a one Harriet, the university Housing Overseer to evict him by force. They were repulsed by the unfriendly reaction from our client. They however promised to go back and evict him,” writes Henry Rwaganika to the IGP.  

“To us, this is sad. Very sad indeed for the police to be used in acts of breaking the law, worse still in acts where the perpetrators are not only abusing their officials with impunity but also acting in utter disobedience of lawful court directives and orders which the university authorities now refer in derogatory language as ‘mere pieces of paper’,” he adds in a petition.  

On July 2nd, 2019, Nuwagaba who also happens to be the former Personal Assistant to Professor Barnabas Nawangwe during his tenure as Makerere University Deputy Vice Chancellor in charge of Finance and Administration had his house allocated to Hellen Nambalirwa of the Peace Center. This according to Rwaganika was in complete disregard of the tribunal directive.  

The allocation letter according to lawyers wasn’t copied to the occupant of the house. He only got it through sympathizers.  “We were informed about the letter and we objected by the letter dated 4th July, 2019 threatening to take on its author, Professor William Bazeyo personally if he continued with his intended illegal eviction,” Rwaganika states.  

He however, says that when the university authorities received their letter warning them against the re-allocation of the premises, they rampaged and clamped down on one of the custodians identified as Isaac Anyaku.  “They reported him to police. The police arrested him and he was detained a whole weekend from Friday of 5th -8th July, 2019 after which he was released on police bond,” reads petition to the IGP in part.  

Following his release, the Vice Chancellor, Professor Nawangwe is said to have written to Anyaku on July 9th 2019 accusing him of publishing University documents thereby exposing the university secrets to the public. “Incidentally, Nawangwe did not disclose the documents leaked,” Rwaganika observes.  “We responded to the letter by pointing out that our client had found it difficult to respond to accusations relating to undisclosed documents. Nawangwe responded on the same day 19th July 2019 by suspending our client from office with immediate effect,” lawyers say.  

Incidentally, in the two letters dated July 9 and 19th, the Vice Chancellor stated that his actions were based on a report from the Uganda Police Force.   “All our client knows that he has been subject of police harassment by arrest and detention in police cells for unknown reasons, and it is unfair to him that the same police are the source of allegations the Vice Chancellor is relying on in his communication to our client,” Senior advocate Rwaganika told URN.    

The same officers at Makerere university police station are being accused by Eng. Frank Kitumba for professional misconduct after they sought to evict him from the university house on Friday.  In a complaint on file number PSU/KMP/GEF/517/2019 the officers are being accused of abetting crime and acting in contempt of the law. They include the University chief security officer ACP, Phillip Acaye, Nickson Okello, the OC Makerere University Police station and Corporal Kenneth Kaunda Oulanya who presided over the eviction on instructions of the Chief security officer.