FDC’s Fatuma Zainabu was Planted to tarnish the Police

By Dennis Katungi


October 10th 2015, there’s an altercation with Police.  A number of FDC officials including some MP’s headed to Rukungiri to hold an illegal rally are intercepted by Police.  They are advised not to proceed to Rukungiri as the planned rally was not sanctioned by Police as the Pubic Order Management  Act  provides.  This information had been delivered a day before in writing to FDC leadership. The civil ones who reasoned with Police were not arrested, but the rowdy ones who abused Officers and pocked fingers in their eyes threatening to force their way to their destination were arrested.   

Those arrested, boarded the Police pick up, but a one Fatuma Zainabu, never before heard of as an FDC activist became very stubborn and resisted arrest. In the process, as she violently resisted she managed to slip out of her clothes, deliberately.  She was aware that Cameras were on her. Her voice can be heard in the video clip saying: ‘We shall undress”.  Her intention was to portray Police as brutal and uncaring of her dignity. She later on alleges she was undressed, contrary to what we observe on the enhanced video footage provided by NTV.

Due to Zainabu’s actions, the spot light has been on the Police Force all week - with all manner of condemnation inclusive of the high and mighty Law society, human rights groups and some Bishops in Kinkizi. Retired Bishop Ntegyereize is quoted in the Press as having said that he was 16 years old when Uganda got independence but he had never observed such cruelty even under colonial rule!  Really?

To the Emeritus Bishop, please be informed that there was an official shoot to kill policy for those resisting arrest all through the years of Obote, Amin, & Obote Two, so yours is a disingenuous observation because those were worse times.  I had never seen a person resisting arrest in the 70’s/80’s because they knew they would be shot dead.  It is the current civil Uganda Police Force that people play around with; because they know there is rule of law and arresting officers are subject to that rule of law.  In the years the Bishop mentions, security agencies were a law unto themselves.

We need to discuss openly whether defying the Police and doing things that infringe on law and order is something we should accept, so that, individuals, groups, political parties etc, just do as they like! Otherwise, there is a sitting government and functional law enforcement agencies that are mandated both by the constitution and other laws of Uganda to make sure the country is safe and governable.  Those who want otherwise do not have their country at heart or have their own political interests to advance.

Those who condemn Police for their actions need to know that there is deliberate blackmail and subterfuge intended to tarnish agencies such as the Police, the Electoral Commission, the RDC office and others just so that they are perceived as partisan and leaning to a particular political party.  Things are planned and planted for this purpose. We are yet to see more because intelligence has picked the trend.  

If you look at what other countries (law enforcement agencies) do when faced with unruly characters or riotous situations, it’s not different from what we do in Uganda.  In UK, USA, China, USSR, law enforcement does not tolerate nonsense.  Both the Metropolitan Police and New York Police Department have shot suspects who refuse to obey Police orders either to disarm or raise their hands if they are suspected to be armed.

These forces use tear gas and policing tactics such as ‘kettling’ also known as containment.  This involves the formation of large cordons of Police officers to contain riots. Protesters are left only one exit controlled by Police or are completely prevented from leaving, with the effect of denying them access to food, water and toilet facilities for a period determined by Police.  I observed this fast hand during the 2009G20 summit - climate camp activists protest in London which led to the death of Ian Tomlinson, a by-stander. Eventually Courts cleared the Metropolitan Police of his death pointing out he died of a heart attack triggered by agitation as a result of containment.

Dennis Katungi is Communications & Media Relations Mgr UMC