By Ahmed Matovu

KAMPALA: The Police Professional Standards Unit in Kampala has suspended two police officers and charged them with discreditable conduct, after they appeared in a video confronting a local Askari in Kampala recently.

This was inside Ms. Harchar International Labour Company offices where the Askari had locked them.

In the video that has gone viral, the officers are seen brandishing amidst threats of shooting the Askari who had locked the gate on the instructions of the company director, blocking the detectives from exiting the premises.

According to a statement by the police Spokesperson Fred Enanga, two other separate case files of unlawful confinement and obstruction of officers on lawful duty, and the third case of alleged human trafficking in persons, are being investigated separately.

According to the statement, the facts gathered so far indicate that the labour company, located in Luwafu Makindye that allegedly deals in labour export, acted as representatives of Nakiboneka Solome, aged 29 and her liaison to Ms. Rwabi Mina recruitment offices based in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which recruited her.

Enanga explained that on the 3.12.2022, the victim travelled on a visitor’s Visa that was valid for 90 days, from the 28.11.2022 till the 26.02.2023.

She was, however, enrolled by Rwabi Mina recruitment office as a domestic worker, and a standard Employment contract, entered between Mr. Saud Wasi Alotaibi, as the employer of Nakiboneka Solome, and her representatives, for a duration of two years effective from the 3.12.2022.

However during the month of February, 2023, news circulated on social media and TikTok, indicating that the victim was allegedly tortured, sexually assaulted, and in need of rescue.

Her communication was later cut off and she was presumed dead, which prompted her sister Nalule Christine of Kibibi Butambala, to register a case of alleged trafficking in persons and suspected murder at Katwe division.

It is against this background that 3 detectives led by D/Sgt  Esther Kakai, DC Coleb  Rwashande and DC Deus  Twesigye, who are investigating the complaint, went for inquiries, to establish the circumstances under which the victim was exported for labour, and whether the company was duly registered and licensed to operate in the export of labour.

According to Enanga, the Askari told the officers  that  the director was in the office, but surprisingly, the front desk officers at the reception Owomugisha Jackson and Awachango Salome told them both the Director and Manager were absent.

They went on to interview the staff and it was during that process that the Director of the company, instructed the Askari to lock the gate and confine the 3 officers inside the premises, without any reason.

This led to a confrontation, as the officers tried to use their powers to force the Askari to open the gate but the situation escalated into an ugly scene with threats to shoot.

Eventually the officers called for reinforcement and they were rescued and the four people who had obstructed and confined the police officers were arrested. These include; Manano Jenaro, Awachango Solome, Nakirya Justin and Owomugisha Jackson.

Enanga says efforts are underway to record statements from Okecha Richard and Omonya, the operations Manager, who instructed the  guard to lock the officers inside the premises.

Arrangements are also in place, to record a statement from Abdul Wahab, the Director of Harchar International Labour Company.

The police officer also says that the two detectives, namely DC Rwashande Coleb and DC Twesigye Deus, were suspended and charged for discreditable conduct, after they acted unprofessionally and threatened to shoot an unarmed Askari.

The police mouthpiece however says that the actions of the officers in the video is not indicative of the force’s training and policing methods since  it  strives to deliver the highest quality of policing services to the community.

He assured the public that the force would continue to do so in a safe, effective, constitutional, transparent and professional manner.

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