On the 24, October the entire world froze on sight of a trending disheartening footage capturing a swarm of police officers ganging up on an unarmed Makerere University student. This was during the infant days of the chaotic ‘Fees Must Fall’ students engineered protest. The stern faced policemen hit the streets of Kikoni at the lunch hour (a neighbourhood adjacent to Makerere University) to specifically hunt down a student named Musiri David. It is said, the firebrand activist had been blacklisted for arrest by a one Prof. Eria Hisali who commanded the entire Fees Must Fall crackdowns on students. Clutched on their guns, the police advanced in the deeper part of the slum checking through all food points. Finally after nearly an hour of the long search, they landed on David and successfully cut his meal short as they fished him out of the food point. The restaurant attendants who happened to be women in their late 40’s trailed the unresponsive police officers and laboured to quiz them for revelations of what the student had done. “Where are you taking the young boy? He is our client, he has done nothing,” shouted one woman as she grilled the police officers. All these cries fell on deaf ears. No body in uniform had the time to respond. They were all busy tightly holding the student by his waist and moved him towards the waiting teargas truck parked in front of Douglas Villa hostel. The defiant robust David noticed that he was headed for the worst and his silence was to cost him once he complied to the arrest. He started stinging them with words they didn’t want to hear. It was the same ‘Bobi Wine’ rhetoric of; ‘Afande I’m not fighting you, I’m fighting for you,’ David shouted. “You also have children, don’t you want them to study up to university?” David overwhelmingly shouted at them. The policemen tried forcing him into the truck. Those inside the truck could be seen pulling him in attempts to have him where cameras could not reach. A composed David today narrates his ordeal inside the truck. “When these men successfully loaded me on the truck, I knew I was in my last life moments,” David says. “In the truck, all men exhibited their anger on me. They randomly instituted a gun butt spree on my body. What shocked me was the shameless attempt by one of them who nearly hit me with a butt on my manhood,” he adds. This was one of his worst experiences of activism. He says had it not been his tactical decision to tighten on one of the police officers, he would be dead by now. “I held one of them tightly. I told the rest to continue beating me as they wish but I would not let go of their officer who I was also holding tightly as my shield,” David recalls. His tireless fight ensued throughout the journey to Wandegeya police station where he was scheduled for detention. Pictures of the scene show David trying to resist the brutal arrest of his perpetrators but their overwhelming zeal to have him detained could not make them relent at any point. It was like a breed of lions rounding off an antelope. Today David irregretably lauds the public for standing in solidarity with him in this moment. He has just received a small grant from concerned students of one of the colleges in the United States. David says he will use this little token to pursue his activism and as well groom more activists. “I want to be a tutor in an activism school. Our people must be taught to fight for what they believe in,” closes David in our brief interview on his experience. We caught up with him as he was leaving the Kamwokya based Africa centre for torture victims, ACTV.

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