Police officers arrested in death of phone thief case

20 Mar 2024


KAMPALA. Two Katwe police officers have been detained following accusations of torturing a suspect to death.

The victim, identified as Lauben Muchunguzi, was allegedly involved in a phone theft attempt with a colleague.

After being apprehended and handed over to the police, Muchunguzi’s health deteriorated while in custody and he was pronounced dead upon arrival at Mulago referral hospital. Family members and community leaders have accused specific officers of torturing Muchunguzi, prompting a death inquiry and the arrest of the two officers involved.

The alleged thieves attempted to snatch a phone from a Congolese national, Jovan Tukye, in Kanakurya Zone on Kayemba road-Kibuli at around 8:00 pm on March 12, 2024. They were chased by a mob, and while Muchunguzi managed to escape, his colleague was rescued by the police from the angry crowd.

Kampala Metropolitan deputy police spokesperson, Luke Owoyesigirye, emphasized the condemnation of such acts and affirmed that if the allegations are substantiated, the officers will face legal consequences.

  Owoyesigirye, who did not disclose the names of the officers, stated that family members and the community have identified certain officers whom they accused of torturing Muchunguzi. 

“In some of the statements that have been recorded by a team handling this case, family members of the deceased and the area leaders are accusing our officers, of having tortured Muchunguzi on the way, and at police,” Owoyesigyire said. 

He mentioned that a death inquiry has been initiated following reports of torture and two officers have been arrested as the investigation continues.

 “We have two suspects so far but the investigations will be expanded to the scene where the first incident occurred. We condemn any act of torturing suspects in the hands of the police that is meant to protect them. If the allegations against these people are found to be true, they will face the hand of law.” Owoyesigyire added.

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