KAMPALA. Police have opened a case file of threatening violence and assault against Uganda’s Ambassador to Burundi, Maj Gen Matayo Kyaligonza, and his bodyguards for allegedly roughing up a female traffic police sergeant on duty.
Maj Gen Kyaligonza and two Military Police soldiers were seen in a video clip shared on social media harassing Sgt Esther Namaganda who had stopped them from making a U-turn in the middle of a road in Seeta, Mukono District, yesterday morning.
Deputy police spokesperson Polly Namaye said the officer had been given Police Form III to go for a medical examination to facilitate the investigations.
Maj Gen Kyaligonza, a retired army officer, is the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) vice chairperson for western region and a member of army High Command.
Both senior police and army officers have condemned the incident as regrettable.
The Chief Political Commissar, Mr Police Asan Kasingye tweeted:
“This is unacceptable @UPDFspokespersn (Uganda Peoples Defence Forces spokesman).” He added: “I remember one day he was demoted for slapping the OC Station Jinja Rd ASP Tumusiime in 1989.”
The UPDF spokesperson, Brig Richard Karemire, apologised for the incident and said the army is working with the police in the investigations.
“We have been informed of the incident involving a police traffic sergeant and UPDF Military Police soldiers. It is very regrettable and apologies to our police sister.
UPDF and UPF [Uganda Police Force] are establishing the facts. Findings will guide action to be taken,” Brig Karemire said.
He later said L/CPL Peter Bushindiki and Pte John Robert Okurut, who were seen in the video assaulting the female police officer, were arrested and are now held at Military Police headquarters.
This is not the first incident where Maj Gen Kyaligonza has been involved in a fracas.
In the 2001 general elections, he beat up Mr Amlan Tumusiime, a former news editor of Radio Hoima for airing a story he said did not favour him.
Mr Tumusiime yesterday confirmed the 2001 incident, saying the story was about Maj Gen Kyaligonza using soldiers to stop a rally of his opponent, Mr Tom Kyahurwenda, in Hoima.
“He told me ‘I know the law and know how to break it. I am going to demonstrate to you that I can break the law,” Mr Tumusiime said.
He said Maj Gen Kyaligonza beat him up and he was admitted to hospital.
“The case was reported to police, but he engaged the religious leaders to talk to me and we settled the case out of court. We reconciled and we are now good friends,” Mr Tumusiime said.
In May last year, Maj Gen Kyaligonza was also accused to beating up his neighbour after a disagreement over land boundaries. The police have not made headway in the case.
This is one of the string of cases in which army personnel have been involved, but most of them go without being investigated to conclusion.
Recently, Maj Gen Kasirye Ggwanga, the president’s adviser, was accused of threatening violence and destruction of property when he shot a tyre of singer Catherine Kusasira’s car in Makindye, Kampala, over a petty misunderstanding.
Police later said they could not summon Maj Gen Ggwanga since Ms Kusasira had not recorded a statement. The army also did not question him on why he discharged a bullet.
Recent accusation against kyaligonza
In August last year, UPDF soldiers guarding the home of Uganda’s Ambassador to Burundi, Maj Gen Matayo Kyaligonza, reportedly beat a resident to death in Mutungo Ward, Makindye-Ssabagabo Municipality in Wakiso District.
The soldiers are said to have dumped Rogers Waiswa, 28, at Mutungo Police Post after they beat him into coma following a disagreement at a construction site belonging to Maj Gen Kyaligonza.
“The information we have is that he had been at the site most of the evening demanding his pay and when it came to night, the guards wanted him to leave.
We think they started to beat him when he insisted on payment before departure,” area councillor Ahmed Ssekyanzi said then.
Wasswa later died of excessive bleeding from the police cells.
The Kajjansi police commander then referred us to the Police spokesperson Emilian Kayima who was unavailable.
By Daily Monitor