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Ugandan court seeks justice for schools kids beaten up by police allies

By Timothy Sibasi, timothy.sibasi@alleastafrica.com

KAMPALA – A district police chief General Kale Kayihura and Abdallah Kitata who lead a group known as Boda Boda 2010 have been sued over an incident in which young pupils were harassed and tortured by goons claiming to work for the police.

A court application seeks to have the group disbanded and the perpetrators of the inhumane acts penalized.

On October 3, a bus carrying pupils of Winterland Primary School was intercepted by men belonging to Boda Boda 2010.

The men claimed to work for police then beat up the pupils and their caretakers accusing them of engaging in anti-government protests due to the red color in their uniform.

In the wake of the contentious political debate on the proposed constitutional amendment to remove the Presidential age limits, the Opposition have been dressing in red attire in protest of the Age Limit Bill.

The school children were heading to Nkumba where they were slated to entertain guests during the annual Police Community Policing celebrations.

Video footage by the media showed police officers looking on as the pupils were subjected to the ill treatment.

It is upon this background that three caretakers from Winterland Primary School; Jamil Kiragga, Daniel Mayobwe and Evarist Kalungi through their lawyer Ladislaus Rwakafuzi have filed a case in the High Court seeking justice for the youngsters.

The three decry the “inhuman and degrading treatment” subjected to school girls all aged below 10 by men united under Boda Boda 2010 “in the presence of police without [police] hindering or stopping the violation of the law”.

They argue that the actions of the goons violated the principle of the rule of law and protection of law enshrined in Article 21 (1) of the Constitution, and the the right to freedom from torture, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment under Article 24 of the Constitution.

The court application filed on Monday demands that “Boda Boda 2010 be declared an unlawful society” and that “respondents pay punitive and compulsory damages to the applicants at 20% interests”.

The complainants further seek that the respondents pay the costs of the application.

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