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Court Process Servers Sue District CID for Illegal Detention

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Two Court Process servers have sued the   Officer in charge of the Criminal Investigations Department of Police at Namutumba Police Station Stella Nankunda accusing her of illegal detention.

A court process server delivers and serves legal documents such as summons to parties to a case.  The servers are Michael Kaluusi and Richard Mwesigwa, all attached to the Iganga High Court Circuit.

Through their lawyers led by Steven Kalali, the Court Process Servers contend that on December 14, 2023, they proceeded to effect service of court documents to Sulaina Logose who is a defendant in a land case. However, while giving her the documents, they were assaulted by Logose which prompted them to proceed to Namutumba Police Station where Nankunda is the CID Officer and they reported a case of assault which was registered under Reference Number SF 59/14/12/2023.

Despite being victims of crime, Nankunda instead without justification allegedly ordered the confinement/deprivation of their right to liberty. Kaluusi and Mwesigwa say they were unjustifiably deprived of their liberty from 2:00pm to 7:00pm by police under Nankunda’s directives with no room for escape.

In one of the supporting affidavits in the case, Kaluusi says that they pleaded with the Police Officer to release them but she allegedly became harsh, arrogant and rude to them by threatening them that she is the CID Officer with the powers to decide how long one can be confined.

“That the respondent in furtherance of her acts to deny us/deprive us of our liberty even assured us that “they were the people in power” if we did not know her tribe and even if we reported to the Inspector General of Police nothing could happen to her “, reads the affidavit.

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The affidavit adds that Kaluusi tried to leave the room they had been confined in to pick up their Motorcycle UG 110J which they had used in transportation but Nankunda directed that they don’t move anywhere or else they risked being shot at.

“The respondent even told us that the criminal file that had been entered by her subordinates at Namutumba Police Station would not see light as even though we had recorded statements at police regarding the said file, her being the in charge knew how best she was to handle it”, adds the affidavit.

The evidence submitted to the Court shows that Nankunda spoke on the phone with Logose whom the process servers had opened a case against. They add that after crying out loud, they were set free.

The Court Process Servers argue that the acts and orders of Nankunda in restricting or depriving them of their freedom of movement yet they were victims of crime who had gone to seek justice amounts to total abuse of the Uganda Police Force Uniform and she should individually be held liable for violating their rights.

They also contend that her acts were unjustified and amounted to gross abuse of authority which the court should shun and go ahead and order her to pay them a compensation of sh40m for mental and emotional suffering caused to them for their human rights violations.

Kalali says his clients also want the Court to order her dismissal from the Police Force and be declared unfit to hold a public office. On top of this, the court process servers also want Nankunda to be ordered to apologize to them and a permanent injunction be issued against her to stop violating the rights of the applicants and other people because she infringed on their right to practice their profession which is unconstitutional.

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Nankunda has been summoned to file her defence and the case is fixed for hearing on March 28.

In 2019, President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni signed into law the Human Rights Enforcement Act of 2019 which among others seems to hold men and women in uniform personally liable for their actions which infringe the constitutional rights of the citizens, as opposed to shielding those with unconstitutional behaviors under the Attorney General to defend them.

Museveni okayed this law to reduce gross impunity and torture acts by security officers which were happening in the country and also to reduce the damages that were being paid by the government to defend individual illegal acts not sanctioned by the State/government.

*Source-URN*

 

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