By Ivan Kaahwa
The UPDF has arrested its officers engaged in mob justice in Kitgum district, where a video captured depicts the officers flogging a suspected thief with tied limbs as he lay face down in a vulnerable position.
UPDF Spokesperson Brigadier General Felix Kulayigye emphasized that acts like corporal punishment and torture are unconstitutional in Uganda’s laws. He stated that there are clear legal procedures for the arrest and detention of suspects.
According to Kulayigye, the incident occurred in Lagot village, Mucwini Subcounty, where civilians opted for mob justice instead of taking the suspected thief to the police. Locals contacted the RDC Kitgum while in possession of the suspect, but the RDC discouraged them from resorting to mob justice.
At this point, the LC 3 chairman and GISO took the suspect to a local UPDF detach, where the detach commander allowed the heinous act without the knowledge of the unit commander.
The video shows individuals in military uniform and civilians inflicting pain on the defenseless suspect. In a 2:20-minute clip, the suspect, speaking in Luo language, pleads to be taken to the alleged complainants, claiming he stole and sold a motorcycle to find out the truth, but the GISO disregards his plea and threatens to continue the flogging until he speaks.
The soldiers involved have been arrested, and a public trial will be conducted to ensure justice is not only done but seen to be done. The UPDF has strongly condemned acts of mob justice, whether perpetrated by civilians or soldiers, and pledges to uphold the rule of law.
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