Kampala. The Uganda’s Ambassador to Burundi, Maj Gen Matayo Kyaligonza, has said the attempt by his driver to make a U-turn in the middle of the road, an incident that sparked a confrontation between his armed guards and a female traffic officer, was to escape a chaotic scene after a motor accident.
In a telephone interview yesterday, Maj Gen Kyaligonza said as they were travelling, they found two vehicles that had been involved in an accident and the occupants had created a chaotic scene.
“My guards went out of the car to ask the police officers what had happened. The two parties involved in the accident were fighting each other in the middle of the road. My driver wanted to make a U-turn to avoid the chaos,” Maj Gen Kyaligonza said.
He added: “What would you do? To continue driving in a chaotic scene or immediately make a U-turn and leave in peace?” Maj Gen Kyaligonza asked, adding: “Police and army officers are on the road to save us from chaos.”
He alleged that the female police officer abused them when they pleaded with her to escape the chaotic scene.
“If you are a woman, it doesn’t mean that you have to abuse people,” he said.
On Sunday morning, Maj Gen Kyaligonza and two military police soldiers were seen in video clip shared on social media harassing Sgt Esther Namaganda, who had stopped them from making a U-turn in the middle of the road at Seeta Trading Centre in Mukono District.
On her part, Sgt Namaganda claims that Maj Gen Kyaligonza slapped her, an allegation the latter neither denies nor confirms.
Police and Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence are carrying out investigations on alleged assault and inconsiderate use of a road against Maj Gen Kyaligonza, his driver and bodyguards.
Although Gen Kyaligonza did not condone what his bodyguards did when they roughed up Sgt Namaganda, he said, “they are human”.
“They are deployed to protect Kyaligonza. They wanted to protect Kyaligonza,” he said referring to the danger the soldiers would have faced later if he was harmed.
He likened what his guards did to crime of passion, which is often committed without reflecting on it because of anger.
He accused the media of inciting people to abuse and condemn him unfairly without finding out what happened before the confrontation.
Nearly two days later, Maj Gen Kyaligonza, his driver and bodyguards are yet to record statements with the police. The two soldiers were arrested by the army on Sunday.
Meanwhile, police spokesperson Fred Enanga said they are to summon Gen Kyaligonza through the Minister of Foreign Affairs since he is a diplomat. The Uganda People’s Defence Forces (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.
By Daily Monitor