Suspects suffocate, die in city police cell

At least two suspects among dozens nabbed in a massive police swoop in Kampala reportedly suffocated to death while in custody, according to multiple sources.
Detectives, however, acknowledge that only one individual out of those they had arrested during the March 7 crackdown died at Mulago National Referral Hospital after collapsing at Clock Tower Police Post.
The force named the deceased as a one Bogere Omong alias warrior, who was a casual worker at Old Taxi Park in the downtown Kampala.
In a March 11 letter, the Katwe Divisional CID Officer, Mr Fred Eriku, informed the in-charge at the city mortuary, also at Mulago, to conduct an autopsy and release the body of the deceased to relatives for burial.

“This is to request that the above body be handed over to the bearer of this letter, Odong Fred, the brother to the deceased after postmortem is done. He is intending to transport the body for burial to Osukuru Village in Tororo District,” Mr Eriku noted.
The hand-written letter, a copy of which this newspaper has seen, was referenced: Request to release the body of one Bogere Omong alia Warrior vide pm746/2019.
Mr Odong said his brother died in police cell, but he was heartbroken to speak on the tragedy.

Our investigations, however, point to the likelihood of more than one individual passing on while at custody at Clock Tower Police Post.
Records at city mortuary show that the facility at around 8pm on March 7, received a body of a person identified as David Nene, who reportedly died after collapsing at Clock Tower Police Station.
Workers at the morgue told the reporter of this newspaper yesterday that Nene was said to be a driver and of Tanzanian origin .
On March 8, the city mortuary received the body of another person who reportedly died at Clock Tower Police Post.

The corpse, which remained unclaimed by press time last night, was categorised in the city mortuary records as “Unidentified”.
Sources familiar with the matter said the suspect died before recording a statement, which would have enabled detectives capture the particulars.
The Police Professional Standards Unit, which is responsible for enforcing discipline and professional compliance, was by yesterday separately investigating the circumstances under which a suspect, labelled in official records as “unknown” died in police custody.

Kampala Metropolitan police spokesperson, Mr Patrick Onyango yesterday, said the unknown person collapsed upon arrest, but breathed his last while being taken for treatment to Mulago National Referral Hospital. We could not independently verify this account. 
This version of events, contradicts one offered to this newspaper by another man, who said he was arrested the same night and witnessed three people, including his friend Deo Kabogere Ogong, suffocated to death inside a congested Clock Tower Police Cell.

Background
Exercise. The police operation was conducted on March 7 on Entebbe Road to arrest suspected petty thieves and criminals ahead of the ‘Africa Now’ Summit that got underway at the Commonwealth Resort Munyonyo yesterday. The summit, which is being attended by heads of state and high-level government and business executives, ends today.

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