Six senior police officers were arraigned Wednesday on charges of neglect of duty leading to the stoning of Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni’s vehicle in northwestern town of Arua in August last year.
The accused appeared before the Police Disciplinary Court chaired by Dennis Odongpin at Arua Municipal Hall, some 470km northwest of the capital Kampala.
The prosecution told the court that the officers had failed to adequately deploy security which saw people in a grader intercept the President’s convoy and allegedly damage Museveni’s car.
During the fracas that rocked a by-election campaign in Arua, one person was killed and several others brutally beaten and arrested including six opposition lawmakers.
After the incident, the six officers were suspended.
They are West Nile regional police commander Jonathan Musinguzi, Arua district police commander Abbas Ssenyonjo, an officer from the West Nile regional criminal investigations and intelligence directorate (CIID) Herbert Wanyoto, regional traffic officer Francis Onen and regional CIID officer Edward Mugweri.
The Regional Police Professional Standards Unit chairperson, Mr Evans Vuata, who was a witness at the hearing told the court that: “The officers got information and had identified blackspots in the municipality where there was clear and readiness of an outbreak of disorder. These officers feared that their actions would result into violence yet they had all the manpower and machinery.”
“We were let down by some senior police officers from the police headquarters who were at the helm of security,” said Mr Musinguzi before pleading not guilty.
Others also pleaded not guilt to the charges.