COVID-19 in Uganda: 11 Police officers remanded to Gulu Main Prison over the torture of women in Elegu border point
Gulu Magistrate Court has remanded 11 Police officers over the torture of women in Elegu, Uganda South Sudan border during a curfew. The officers were charged and remanded to Gulu Main Prison.
Among the eleven, six were UPDF officers who are said to have engaged in the torture during the operation and are to face the court-martial over the same torture incident.
Arriving in the same van they used during the said operation the officers, Gulu Chief Magistrate, Francis Matenga Dawa remanded them to Gulu Main Prison until 7th May with many pleading not guilty.
“It’s your right to apply for bail but given the prevailing circumstances in the country, and the way court is operating it will be a health threat to so many people who will be in court to stand for you right now. For that reason, I will remand you for a month to the 7th of May.”
Meanwhile, the UPDF Fourth Division Spokesperson, Caesar Olwenyi cautioned security officers against torturing suspects saying that the law will go against them.
“If you go against the instructions or you do it beyond, the law will catch up with you. So we are not going to tolerate anything and we are not going to leave any stone unturned, and this one should go as a message to the public that don’t break the law.” Olwenyi adds that Ugandans should not think that they will break the law and the soldiers will be arrested. “We’re not going to go down by some elements who don’t want to listen.”
This comes shortly after pictures of tortured women at Elegu went viral on social media putting the UPDF and Police who led the curfew operation that side on spot.
Relatedly, the UPDF has trained 320 medical officers to support the Ministry of the health team in the treatment of COVID-19 victims.
UPDF joins different people and organizations who have committed their support to the government in the fight against the spread of COVID-19.
Director of Medical Services UPDF, Brig. Dr Stephen Kusasira said the trained officers are set to offer emergency support to the general public.
“We have trained about 320 so far, the clinicians and the other support elements, so the capacity is not a problem as of now, capacity is not our problem, we can man it, we can run it and we are still giving support.”
Kusasira adds that all their elements are still supporting all the districts. “We don’t just operate in Bombo here, in each division, we have a division health hospital and all these are in collaboration with the district health officer.”
The training of officers comes at a time when the army transformed a section in its hospital to handle COVID-19 emergencies.
“We have donated one mobile hospital, so it’s a collaboration between us and partners but the most important thing is planning. We acquired this not knowing that corona will be there, so when corona comes in, tomorrow there could be another emergency that requires the establishment of an emergency hospital. So, it’s a model that we use in the Uganda People’s Defense Forces (UPDF),” Kusasira said.
Kusasira said the emergency UPDF hospital accommodates 100 beds and it’s ready to be utilized by the general public.