Police officers who were arrested in regard to the kidnap and murder of social worker Maria Nagirinya have denied the charge of neglect of duty.Appearing before the police court on Wednesday, three assistant superintendents of police (ASPs) Muhammad Byansi, the officer in charge of Natete police station, Andrew Nizeyimana officer in charge of Natete police criminal investigations and Allan Okello the Natete police patrol commander denied being negligent of their duties leading to the death of Nagirinya and her part-time driver Ronald Kitayimbwa.
Byansi said on the night of August 28 when Nagirinya and Kitayimbwa got kidnapped, he was in the field coordinating other police teams while Nizeyimana said he offered the necessary help to the relatives who visited Natete police station soon after Nagirinya the kidnap.
Okello who was supposed to be on standby with a police patrol to respond to any emergency, said he did what was within his means. He did not elaborate on what he actually did to rescue Nagirinya. President Yoweri Museveni ordered for the arrest of officers for being negligent of their duties leading to Nagirinya and Kitayimbwa’s death.
Museveni’s directive came after the victim’s father Francis Lubowa and other relatives said they alerted police soon after the two had been kidnapped but police at Natete and Katwe was complacent.
Nagirinya was a project coordinator for Community Integrated Development Initiative (CIDI) based in Muyenga along Tank Hill road. Kitayimbwa and Nagirinya bodies were dumped in Mukono using her vehicle, a Spacio registration number UBA 570V. Police and Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI) have so far arrested six prime suspects who have since been charged in court.
Other police officers who have been charged but denied the negligence charges include assistant inspector of police Sande Baguma, Cpl Samuel Owona, Constable Joshua Basaliza, Constable Deo Kitutu and Cpl Reuben Kibikwamu.
Kibikwamu is also charged with discreditable conduct to the Uganda Police Force when he allegedly remained reluctant to act when Nagirinya relatives alerted him about her kidnap. Professional Standards Unit said relatives indicated that Cpl Kibikwamu who is charged with discreditable or irregular conduct had allegedly removed his shoes and placed legs on the table and looked unbothered yet he was CID officer in charge of the fateful night.
The police-court team is comprised of senior commissioner Dennis Odongpiny as chairperson, assisted by commissioner Olivia Wawire and assistant commissioner Emmanuel Manzi while police prosecutor is senior superintendent of police Stephen Ibanda.