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Nalufenya: Tortured mayor and others

Other tortured suspects include; Abdu Rashid Mbaziira, Higenyi Aramanzani Noordin, Mugerwa Yusuf, Bruhan Balyejusa, Baganda Umar, Ahamada Senfuka, Hassan Tumusiime, Ibrahim Kissa, Osman Mohamed Omarite, Magambo Hamidu, Abdu Majidu, Kyambadde Joshua and Sheik Musa Ntende.

Human Rights lawyer, Laudislus Rwakafuzi has interviewed the suspects on instructions from Dr. Livingstone Ssewanyana, the Executive Director Foundation for Human Rights Initiative (FHRI) and some of them claim to have seen police chief Kayihura visits Nalufenya.  The also speak of death of detainees under torture.

Musisi says a detainee called Joshua Kyambadde lost a brother to torture. Another suspect also said one time he was tortured together with another man who suffocated and died. Although The Independent could not confirm it, there are reports that over 10 people have died at the facility.

In a May 10 letter, Rwakafuzi wrote to the Uganda Human Rights Commission requesting it to contact the African Centre for Rehabilitation of Torture Victims (ACTV) to find the tortured victims and examine them and compile medical reports.

In the report, Rwakafuzi notes that the torture is not confined to Nalufenya. He says torture still goes on the notorious `safe houses’ run by the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI) and the Violent Crimes Crack Unit (VCCU) at Kireka near Kampala.

“There are many, many people being tortured,” the report reads in part, “It is possible some could be maimed totally or even dead.”

Amongst these, Rwakafuzi listed; Kasujja Shafique, Kamoga Sulaiti from Mbarara, Abbasi aka Alshabab from Kisenyi-Mbarara, Siraagi Muwonge, Hassan Segawa, Abdulatiff Lukyamuzi, Luutu Kimuli, Senyonga Musa, Semwanga and Ddamulira Swaleh.

At Kireka, he noted that Ddamulira swaleh Kimuli has broken legs, Uthman Mugoya and Bawooli Mugoya, are also being tortured.

At Nalufenya, he noted, Sulaiman Mudeya, Hussein Kigumba and Kaliiri Yahaya are also being tortured.

Rwakafuzi names some of the worst torturers. At Nalufenya, he said, they are Minaana and Kasiba.

“They are so brutal,” he writes, “they tell the inmates that even the President allowed them to kill. At CMI, he said, a key torturer is Ali Eriasa.

Rwakafuzi explained that the notoriety at Nalufenya is recent. “It is being used to breakdown people,” he said, “the intention is not to prosecute them but to just break them down. They deny them access to their people, doctors, and even lawyers.”

He explained that what police is doing at Nalufenya today, they used to do at Kireka under the Violent Crimes Crack Unit (VCCU).

“But Kireka was easy to access,” the public could see what was happening. “Nalufenya on the other hand, is far from the prying eyes of the public. There police can do anything. That explains the notoriety you are seeing.”

Following Rwakafuzi’s letter, the UHRC summoned both the head of the army; CDF Gen. David muhoozi, and the Police chief Gen. Kale Kayihura, to explain the torture.

In parliament, Speaker Rebecca Kadaga also was raging with anger and shock.

“How can one explain the electric shock, the knocking out of teeth, the breaking of knee caps, the ironing of a person’s body, the introduction of noxious (harmful) substances into the orifices of a person?” Kadaga said.

Torture is not an issue of the Police disciplinary committee, she said, it is a matter of crime against humanity, it is a breach of the Prevention and Prohibition of Torture Act, and the perpetrators must be arrested and charged in an open court.

“We need to see justice done,” she said.

Kadaga also criticised police over the detention of the children of some of the suspects. Abu Rashid Mbaziira and wives Aisha Ampiire and Fatumah Bint Salim, were arrested with their 12 children.

“It is a cardinal principle of law that children under the age of 12 have no legal capacity to commit an offense; we expect a statement,” Kadaga said.

She referred the Ministry of Internal Affairs which oversees police to Section 244 of the Penal Code Act which qualifies the liable police officers to a 10-year jail term. Kadaga ordered an investigation.

As pressure mounted, the Minister of State for Internal Affairs, Mario Obiga-Kania, apologised for the torture of suspects. He informed parliament that the police have already arrested four officers for criminal trial in the courts of law.

President Yoweri Museveni also, in a letter to the Chief of Defense Forces (CDF) Gen. David Muhoozi and police chief Gen. Kale Kayihura also ordered them to stop the torture of suspects. He said they could be torturing the wrong people, forcing innocent suspects to admit guilt in order to be spared being tortured, and allowing the real criminal escape and commit more crimes because resorting to torture shows that investigations are failing.

“The use of torture is unnecessary and wrong and must not be used again,” Museveni said, “we shall get them using patient means of evidence but not through torture because evidence through torture is not reliable.”


One comment

  1. Viktor Mayinja

    This posturing should stop. Kayiikuuzi and Minaani are well aware of this. As long as it creates fear among the populace and supposed opponent, it is okay.

    There is not a chance that this will stop! These guys have assumed the status of gods in this country.

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