By Tausi Nakato
Human rights activities have condemned the act of police officer who allegedly raped a female suspect in one of the Police posts in Jinja District.
Kiira Region Police Station, Mr James Mubi identified the suspect as Police Constable, Salim Mugoya attached to Namaganga Police post in Busedde Sub County in Jinja District.
Mr Mubi said the suspect is currently on the run after the incident.
“We have recorded all the relevant statements, we have a medical examination report on the file , the scene of crime was revisited and the suspects’ home searched but we didn’t find him there,’’ he said.
Mubi said they can’t allow such officers who tarnish the image of the police force.
Ms Rose Kigere, the Executive Director of Women Rights Initiative, described the incident as a gruesome act that is very unacceptable to the law enforcement unit to be the abusers.
“They can’t be the abusers, we expect them to keep the suspects safe, to be handling the law in its entirety, the law has to take its course, he has to be fully investigated, the prisoner must get justice,’’ she said.
Ms Kigere said even though the suspects have committed a crime, they should not be criminalized by giving them another punishment.
Ms Kigere said Police must come out to explain how the incident happened because every police station must have a female police officer to avoid unforeseen issues that would have come up.
Ms Hellen Lunkuse, the Executive Director of Rape Hurts Foundation said the law enforcers must be sensitized on sex Gender Based Violence to avoid such incidents.
“Sensitization of gender-based violence to law enforcers must be emphasized because respecting women is still a very big issue. There must be a gender balance of police officers for security purposes. Men think they can do anything to a woman,’’ he said.
Ms Lunkuse said there are still loopholes in the way female suspects and victims are being handled by law enforcers.
“A rape victim is being asked to explain in front of men including lawyers how she was raped yet their faces are supposed to be covered during court sessions, only the voice should be hard. How can a male officer handle a female suspect? There is still a big gender gap,’’ she said.
Mr Robert Mugisa, a human rights lawyer, said a police officer is a duty bearer who is in charge of enforcing laws and making sure people enjoy rights.
“A police officer has to face the law and anyone convicted of rape suffers death sentence according to the penal code Act section 124. Professional standard Unit of police must also intervene in the issue because the victim must get justice,’’ he said.
It is alleged that Police Constable Mugoya raped a 20-year-old suspect (name withheld) who was on charges of child Desertion.
It is alleged that the suspect who is now a victim of rape had abandoned her two-year-old child after a domestic misunderstanding which prompted the husband to report the case to police on February 4.
Her husband filed a case of child desertion at Namaganga police post, prompting Mugoya to arrest the suspect from her grandmother’s home in Busedde and detain her for the two nights of 7th and 8th, February.
The victim said Constable Mugoya locked her inside the cell and raped her several times.