Breaking

Former West Nile CIID Officer Questioned over ‘Zaake Escape'

Wanyoto was appearing before the police disciplinary committee which is hearing cases against six police officers charged with neglect of duty during the chaos that preceded the Arua Municipality Parliamentary by-election in August, 2018.
The Police Disciplinary Committee chaired by SCP Dennis Odongopiny (2nd left) during the court hearing on Friday.
Herbert Wanyoto, the regional criminal investigations officer for West Nile has been questioned for aiding the escape of Mityana Municipality MP Francis Zaake to escape from lawful custody.

 

Wanyoto was appearing before the police disciplinary committee which is hearing cases against six police officers charged with neglect of duty during the chaos that preceded the Arua Municipality Parliamentary by-election in August, 2018.

 

Zaake is said to have collapsed moments after his arrest alongside several other legislators, who had joined the campaign trail, in support of Kassiano Wadri Ezati, the eventual winner of the Arua Municipality Parliamentary race.

 

The arrested individuals were accused of obstructing the president's motorcade and pelting stones that smashed the windscreen of one of the vehicles in the convoy. The President was in Arua to campaign for Nusura Tiperu, a candidate for the ruling National Resistance Movement-NRM party.

 

But Zaake, who had sustained multiple injuries reportedly escaped from the sick bed at Arua Referral Hospital undetected and resurfaced at Lubaga Hospital in Kampala days later.  The committee heard that Wanyoto left MP Francis Zaake unattended to for over 40 minutes, which gave him an opportunity to escape from Arua Hospital where he had been admitted.

 

The police prosecutor SSP Stephen Ibanda demanded to know why Wanyoto abandoned Zaake in the Hospital without assigning detectives to guard him. The Prosecutor also prayed that court finds fault from the evidence by the witness against Wanyoto.

 

However, in his submission, Wanyoto said that guarding suspects is not a role of the regional CIID officer. He also demanded to know from the witness whether guarding suspects was one of the roles assigned during planning meetings prior to the visit of the president.

 

"My role was to deliver the MP to the hospital and not to guard him," Wanyoto said.

 

But in his response, the chairman of the disciplinary committee Senior Commissioner of Police-SCP Dennis Odongpiny asked why Wanyoto never delegated the task to his juniors if he knew it was a small job for him.