Military police Commander who brutalized Makerere students and Journalists arrested

The Uganda Peoples Defense Forces (UPDF) has arrested one of its senior officers over the Military Police’s conduct during its deployment to quell the riots at Makerere University.

The officer in custody has been identified has Capt. Ronald Lubeera, who is in command of the Military Police Detach.

He is being detained at the Military Police Headquarters in Makindye.

UPDF spokesman Brig Richard Karemire confirmed the arrest, saying investigations into the officer are underway.

“A Board of Inquiry led by Lt Col Richard Ochen Okum has been established to look into what exactly happened,” Karemire said.

The Army was initially deployed last week to support the police in handling the Makerere riots as students protested a controversial fees hike.

The forces however, came under intense scrutiny for using excessive force on students.

Footage of military and police officers beating students, forcing them to roll on the ground half naked, storming and firing teargas in their rooms in hostels and halls of residence, all attracted widespread condemnation from local and international groups.

The Commander in Chief, President Yoweri Museveni amid the growing scrutiny, early this week ordered the army to be withdrawn from the university.

The use of excessive force was condemned by a number of bodies including the US Embassy, Parliament, the Uganda Human Rights Commission among others.

The Uganda Journalists Association yesterday announced a boycott on all police events after it emerged that several journalists were targeted by police officers and injured, as they lawfully covered the protests at Makerere.

The European Union this morning issued a statement, calling on both the police and the Military to “refrain from acts of violence and to respect freedom of assembly and expression”

“We are also alarmed by the use of force against and unwarranted arrests of journalists attempting to cover recent events at Makerere,” the Commission said.

The UPDF Spokesman nonetheless, while speaking to ChimpReports, said the army was “committed to maintaining its high standards and pro-people stance.”

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Lukwago Joseph grew up in a newspaper family, and rumor has it that instead of playing the guitar in his infancy, his parents put a reporter’s notebook and a pen next to him shortly after he turned born eight years. Before becoming editor of UGANDANZ, Lukwago was a parliament news editor for WBS TV. He joined UGANDANZ in July 2018, A few months after the company launched. Lukwago also spent five years as a freelance reporter, where he covered reporting for the highest bidder, intelligence, foreign policy, and Ugandan police. Lukwago graduated from Makerere University in 2008 with a B.A. in Journalism and worked on his college newspaper.