Last month, an arresting mission went wrong resulting in ASP Julius Gwaivu, Operations Commander of the Uganda Police Force’s Katwe Division, suffering severe head injuries.
A video showing ASP Gwaivu’s shuttered head being examined by medical professionals has gone viral on social media, leaving many to wonder how and why a police of such rank would suffer a fate of such magnitude at the hands of alleged criminals.
Details on how the suspect who had previously been arrested, hit ASP Julius Gwaivu to the point of exposing part of his brain, have come to light.
The incident is described in a report by ASP James Illa Waigo, the supervisor of the Katwe divisional criminal investigators. The injured officer went to arrest suspect Ronald Watenyeri after booking out the operation on SD 100/17/11.2022, according to Waigo’s findings, which have been shared with the commander of the Kampala Metropolitan Police, SCP Stephen Tanui, and the director of police operations, AIGP John Nuwagira.
Iddi Mufabi had reported Watenyeri for assaulting him, and the matter was recorded under reference number SD 91/17/11/2022. Gwaivu and his two assistants wore police uniforms and took Watenyeri in custody at the Kisekka market in the central business district of Kampala.
But after traveling around 300 meters with the suspect, Gwaivu’s car was stopped by three individuals who have subsequently been identified as Herbert Wekoye, Moses Wambuku, and James Namanda.
The Waigo’s report stated that “that Wekoye obstructed the way of police officers who were driving in a private vehicle by throwing his motorcycle in the way-forcing them to stop while Wambuku Moses blocked them from behind with a motor vehicle.”
Watenyeri was prevented from being taken by Gwaivu as his friend Weokye broke into the car and helped him escape. Wekoye resisted being arrested by Gwaivu’s men for helping the suspect escape, but he raised an alarm that drew the policemen, who then began throwing stones at the police officers’ car. They assaulted the victim, ASP Gwaivu with a metal.
Waigo wrote in the report, “When ASP Gwaivu got out of their car, the mob stopped throwing stones after knowing that the suspect Ronald was arrested by police. After Watenyeri Ronald escaped, he returned to the scene and assaulted the victim with a metal,”
ASP Mutonyi, a member of the Katwe police department, reported the attack on ASP Gwaivu, and a case of attacking a police officer and disruption of official duties was recorded on CRB 1921/2022. Since ASP Gwaivu needed immediate medical attention, his coworkers hurried him into the hospital, where the viral video footage was captured.
Since ASP Gwaivu was attacked, a lot has been said. Some police officers have expressed their displeasure that AIGP Nuwagira summoned a hospitalized colleague to defend himself rather than concentrating on arresting his attackers.
However, according to ASP Waigo’s report on 21 November 2022, Director Operations AIGP Nuwagira called ASP Gwaivu to his office at police headquarters to listen to his side of the story about the charges of assault Vs. the arrest of Watenyeri Ronald.
Wekoye, Wambuku, and Namanda James are the three suspects who have been arrested so far in this case. According to ASP Waigo, a team led by Detective Constable DC Joseph MMuda attempted to arrest Watenyeri in Bududa, where he had fled after hitting ASP Gwaivu. However, they were unsuccessful.
Security agencies rarely just walk into the Kisekka market to make arrests because it is a notoriously chaotic place. Some police officers are mystified as to why ASP Gwaivu sent along only two junior officers to arrest a suspect at 6 o’clock which is beyond his normal working works in a highly chaotic area that is outside of his jurisdiction.
People are demanding that such a horrible attack on police officers in civilized societies should be thoroughly investigated and prosecuted.
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