Police to amend 48-hour detention time for suspects

Members of Parliament have blamed the Police for being incompetent and failing  to release suspects within the 48hour rule.

This came when a delegation of Ministry of internal affairs and the Police leadership appeared to answer concerns of human rights before the Parliamentary committee on human rights, and said they are to amend the rule of holding suspects for only 48 hours.

The Minister of Internal Affairs, Mario Obiga Kania and Okoth Ochola said there are intentions to have the amendment of the 48 hour rule, so that police can have more time to process a case and send suspects to court.

Police was answering queries  raised by the Uganda Human Rights Commission in their 19th Annual report.The Police says police has continued to violate human rights, including violating the maximum time of 48 hours under which some one can be detained in a police station without being taken to court.

Deputy IGP Sabiti Muzeyi, IGP Martin Ochola and State Minister for Internal Affairs Kania Obiga before the Committee.

According to the police, they face a lot of challenges in the current 48 hours.

“Some courts have magistrates that work  only a few days, and we cannot change this, also  some State Attorneys in wide area, so this makes it challenging for suspects to be taken to court, or even released” Police Director Human rights and Legal Services, Erasmus Twarukuhwa said

He says cases like cross border, murder and cases that require a lot of time are some of the reasons why the amendment should come.

A number of legislators found the response outrageous who noted that there shluldn’t be such an amendment in this current age.

Kaberamaido County MP, Veronica Eragu said the matter of amending the 48 hours doesn’t work.He says Police should focus on following the law and not defending its self.

“We can’t believe that in this century police can think of increasing the time of producing suspects before Court when other countries in the region and world over have reduced the time,”

Other MPs noted that Police needs train more of its staff and equip them with better investigation and intelligence skills to avoid arresting suspects without proof.

Joseph Kasozi, the Bokoto mid west MP says the Police should equip its investigative officers to ensure that Police is professional when carrying out there duties.

“When you look at holding these suspects, they are still only suspects and not convicts, so they need to be treated justly by following the law” he said.