Muhammadi Kirumira, the suspended officer in charge of Nansana police station, appears to be headed for more trouble, amid reports he is facing up to eight different cases.
And what has irked the police even more is that Kirumira is now accused of stubbornly refusing to cooperate with officers investigating him.
Kirumira was arrested in April on allegations that he solicited a bribe of Shs 200,000. He was subsequently suspended by Inspector General of Police Kale Kayihura, who ordered a full-scale investigation.
Kirumira objected to being probed by the “biased” police Professional Standards Unit, before his case was referred to the directorate of human rights and legal services (HRLS). However, the acting HRLS director, Erasmus Twaruhuka, says getting statements from Kirumira has been a tug-of-war.
“I didn’t know [there were] many complaints about him, but our investigations found out that they are eight,” Twaruhuka told The Observer. “If he had given statements on each file immediately, the inquiries would have been completed by now.”
Investigations for six of the eight files have been completed. The remaining two, Twaruhuka said, are expected to end within a fortnight. According to Twaruhuka, the cases were reported by different people, although it is the bribery incident that was given more prominence in the media.
All complainants in Kirumira’s cases are civilians, although some have police officers as witnesses. The cases were reported at different police stations, including Old Kampala and Nansana, as well the PSU, over the last two years.
However, Kirumira insisted that he had eventually answered all the questions the police had for him.
“I went to Naguru and made all the statements they wanted. I have all records of the days I went there and I am only wondering why the investigations are not getting done,” Kirumira said.
He argued that all the cases were concocted, pointing fingers at PSU and criminals who had jumped police bond.
“I have evidence that PSU sat down with these thugs to duplicate these cases and present them to the IGP. I managed to challenge them because they had no evidence,” Kirumira said.
But Twaruhuka rejected Kirumira’s claims about PSU: “When Kirumira alleged that PSU was biased, I looked into its record and found that it was a good institution. I just don’t know what made him think PSU was unjust with his case.”
Three weeks ago, Kirumira’s lawyer, Jude Mbabaali, wrote to inform Twaruhuka that his client would not make any more statements on any of the files. Asked about this, Kirumira said police had wanted him to make ‘blind’ statements of cases that he was not aware of.
“They refused to give me documents of the cases and I wouldn’t just make statements. I was bold enough to insist that they have to read each word of the cases against me in order to make the statements,” Kirumira said.
Twaruhuka believes Kirumira has often been misadvised by his lawyers. He says sometimes he is summoned by the police and he refuses to turn up.
“These allegations would have come to an end long time [ago] if Kirumira had collaborated with police,” he said.
After the investigations are complete, the HRLS directorate will decide whether or not to prosecute or discipline Kirumira. Should the police fail to find evidence, Kirumira will be allowed to resume duty, Twaruhuka said.
In another twist, the man who filed the complaint that led to Kirumira’s arrest was last week killed by a mob at Kiteetikka in Wakiso district. Only identified as Majwega, the man was reportedly lynched after he and a gang had stolen a computer. This not only deprives the police of a potential key witnesses, it lends credence to Kirumira’s claims that he is being targeted for taking a hard line against criminals.
“I want a conclusion to be done and if I have a case, I will go to courts of law and defend myself,” Kirumira said.
He also wants to resign from the police, not wanting to “associate with an institution that doesn’t appreciate” his efforts.
“I can’t serve beyond now. The way criminals are calling to threaten me after the bribe incident, [the threats against me] must be serious,” he said.
Kirumira says he spends most of his time at his home in Bulenga, on the Kampala-Mityana road. However, he also owns a welding workshop in the trading centre, and TV cameras recently captured him trying out his hand at welding.
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