I told the men that the last time I had talked to Hassan; he had told me that he knew who was behind the killing of the sheikhs around the country.
“These sheikhs who are dying, we know them because they are former rebel participants,” Hassan had told me a few years ago. I then told the men to call the Minister of Security, Gen. Henry Tumukunde to confirm what I had told them so far. When they heard Tumukunde’s name, they said: “Stop that nonsense; there is no Tumukunde, there is no who (sic). Stop that nonsense, you are all murderers.”
I later found out that Hassan had told his tormentors that whoever they found in his phone book is his accomplice. That is how my name ended up on the police list. Once again the beatings resumed.
Shortly afterwards, the men discussed amongst themselves what they should do next and one of them said they should take me to Jinja.
“I said now I am finished. I thought there was another facility in Jinja,” he says, “My mobile phone, IDs and about Shs 260,000 were removed from me.” Four men, two in uniform, and two in civilian clothes were ordered to escort me to Nalufenya.
When I arrived at Nalufenya, I said I was now finished. In my mind I thought I was finished because I used to hear about Nalufenya as a place of torture. It was at night and I could not walk. I was just carried to the reception area. From the reception, inmates were called to carry me to the cells.
The next day, the inmates carried me outside to be counted. I was shown to the commandant of Nalufenya as one of the suspects who had been brought in the previous night. I introduced myself to the commandant when he asked me to introduce myself. He immediately protested saying, “This man is in a terrible state. Who brought him here?” By this time, my legs had got swollen and were as big as my upper body.
I was taken back to the cells and it was not until the following morning that a nurse came and examined me. But there were no drugs in Nalufenya’s in-house dispensary. The commandant immediately ordered for drugs to be bought. The nurse applied medicine to the wounds and I was also given an injection. But my condition only deteriorated and I was referred to Jinja Regional Referral Hospital.
The doctors examined me but declined to treat me. They referred me to Mulago Hospital in Kampala. I could not talk, stand or sit. I could also not eat. The policemen at Nalufenya chose to bring me back to the detention facility with my reference letter.
A few days later, the Nalufenya commandant said I should be taken to Nakasero Hospital in Kampala. “I had deep holes in my knees. The holes were full of pus and there was dead skin around the wounds. I was immediately referred to the theatre.
Inside the theatre, the nurses removed the dead skin and sucked out the pus. As the nurses cleaned the wounds, I overheard the doctor tell his colleagues that if the worst comes to the worst, they will remove (amputate) my legs.
(For the first time during the interview, Byamukama started crying).
I felt sorry and said to myself, I am going to die. In my mind, I remembered the time I have served the government. I recently lost my first son who after finishing his degree at Makerere University, joined the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) as a cadet and was posted to Somalia from where he died.
(Byamukama continues to cry).
I am now dying innocently when I am a government servant. Why did they not give me the chance to explain? Before I left Nakasero Hospital, the doctor gave me some good news. I was told that my legs will, after all, not be amputated because the wounds are recovering well. The doctor told me it will take me six to 12 months to walk and stabilise. I was due another assessment today (May 19, the day the MPs visited him).
I would probably be dead, if they had not taken me to Nalufenya. When I reached here, the officers were seriously concerned about my health and made sure that I regain my life.
(And as the MPs wind up their interaction, one after another, asks Byamukama more questions: Does he have political problems back home in Kamwenge? Does he suffer from Diabetes? I am not aware of any political problems or rivalry back home. I am also not diabetic, he says.
“The only medical condition I have always had is a “blood clotting,” condition for which even President Museveni knows about and at one time paid my medical bills at Nairobi Hospital).”
Note: Byamukama’s narrative contradicts some information that The Independent received and might have been influenced by his continued stay in `detention’ at Nalufenya.