Uganda: Police Start Hunt for Demonstrators

People who participated in the walk-to-work demonstrations after the arrest of Forum for Democratic Change president Kizza Besigye but eluded police arrest have been classified as wanted criminals.

A police source, who preferred anonymity, said some of the people they are now hunting are those who were captured by the close-circuit television (CCTV) cameras on the Riot Police Vehicles and those stationed on the city streets.

According to the police appeal released on Saturday that Daily Monitor has obtained, suspected riot ring leaders are wanted for offences ranging from theft to attempted murder.

“The following riot ring leaders, whose photographs appear above, are wanted by the Police for the offences of attempted murder, malicious damage to property, theft, threatening violence, obstruction of traffic, and causing grievous harm as per case reference: GEF 10/2011 of CID Headquarters Kampala,” the police appeal states.

Serious consequences

The walk-to-work campaign organised by Activists for Change (A4C), which has entered its fourth week, has been marked by riots and subsequent police arrests across the country.

By classifying persons as wanted criminals, poses a serious consequence to any person who deals with the suspects without informing the police.

Rapid Response Unit, a police unit dealing with violent crimes, has been tasked to carry out intelligence that will lead to suspected rioters’ arrest and detention.

Deputy Police spokesperson Vicent Ssekate confirmed yesterday the hunt for the suspected rioters.

“We have their photographs throwing stones, burning tyres in the middle of the road and stoning police officers. These are crimes and we need them to help us with investigations,” Mr Ssekate said.

The police appeal states that anyone who has information “which may lead to their arrest and successful prosecution to pass it in confidence to the nearest police station”.

Freezing bank accounts

The suspects’ photographs have been sent to different police stations, financial institutions and intelligence officers for possible identification and arrest.

If they are identified, the police will also move further to block their financial transactions in banks.

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