Residents of Kabukunge Village, Kalungu District want police to explain circumstances under which their colleague died in detention.
Mr Abdul Kaweesi ,40, a resident of Kabukungu Village, Kalungu Town Council was found dead in Kalungu Police Cells on Saturday following his arrest for failing to wear a face mask as a measure to control the spread of the coronavirus.
According to Mr Ahmed Muweesi, a brother of Kaweesi, his sibling died after being tortured while in detention.
“The information we have indicate that Kaweesi was beaten by the police officers. When he became unconscious, they took him to Kalungu Health Centre III where he received some treatment and he was taken back to the cells where he died,” Mr Muweesi said on Wednesday.
He said police handed over the body to family members and burial took place on Monday.
Ms Margaret Nantabiro, Kaweesi’s aunt; asked the Inspector General of Police, Mr Martin Okoth Ochola to order special investigations into the matter, insisting that Kaweesi did not commit suicide as being alleged by police officers.
“What we want is justice. You cannot take someone’s life just because of a mask,” she said
But Mr Charles Okello, the Kalungu District Police commander said that Kaweesi committed suicide inside police cells.
“The body was taken to Masaka Regional Referral Hospital for a post-mortem and the report has showed that he committed suicide,” he said on Wednesday.
Mr Okello said that police officers who were on the duty, when the incident occurred, have been charged with negligence.
Last week, government announced that starting May 19, every person would be required to wear a face mask for as long as they are outside their homes to fight the spread of coronavirus that causes the deadly COVID-19 disease.
In a televised address on Monday, President Museveni said government would soon provide free face masks to those who cannot afford to buy them.