Kakwenza Rukirabashaija’s ordeal has brought back the sad memories of my own torture and military detention by #DictatorMuseveni in 2018.
I have been thinking about what Kakwenza must be going through and why the regime is either scared or simply unwilling to have any body access him, later on release him as ordered by court.
When they found me in my hotel room in Arua, the thugs beat me to near death. I do not wish to repeat everything they did to me. For those who might have forgotten, I narrated my experience which can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/130737598011/posts/10157735777083012/.
But what was interesting was the deliberate effort to ensure that by the time I reappeared in the public, I would be in a better shape. As everyone recalls, Kawuma Yasin was murdered on 13th August, 2018 and I was arrested on the wee hours of 14th August. Immediately after, the gruesome torture started.
From that time, after I was “properly beaten” like Museveni boasted, the regime made every effort to keep me away from the public until the 23rd of August, almost 10 days after my gruesome torture.
During that period, they first kept me away from everybody including my lawyers and family because my wounds were still fresh and I was still very swollen. After so much pressure with people thinking I was dead, they only allowed Hon. Ssegona and Hon. Basalirwa to see me in Gulu, so as to prove that I was still alive. Of course you all recall the state in which they found me- half blind, unable to stand or even talk properly. At that time, I was still vomiting blood. I also believe that it was one of the main reasons why I was taken to the military court and only two lawyers allowed to come in. Not even my wife or other lawyers were allowed in.
As soon as I got to Makindye Military barracks, they started me on all manner of injections to try and reduce the swellings that were all over my body. By the time my wife and a few friends were allowed to see me on 17th August for the first time, I was still in a very bad shape. I recall how, everyone, including officials from the Uganda Human Rights Commission cried on top of their voices as soon as I was carried into the room by soldiers. (UHRC officials were led by Hon. Meddie Kaggwa who later died mysteriously.) Before they brought me to see them, they spent the whole morning trying to ensure I looked better. I hadn’t been told by that time that I would be receiving guests. But two soldiers came in early morning and started washing off blood stains off my face and legs. Then, they brought in food stuffs like bananas, juices, bread, etc and set them on the table in the middle of the room. There was every intention to make it appear as if I was receiving first class treatment!
If anyone wants to understand what I looked like on that day, please ask my wife Barbie Kyagulanyi, individual officials of UHRC, Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago, comrade David Lewis Rubongoya or my brother EDDY YAWE. These were some of the few people who were allowed to see me at Makindye.
I can’t recall how many injections I was forcefully subjected to in those days, but I was told they were injecting me with steroids to reduce the inflammation and swelling on my body. Every day, so many military doctors would come in to check on my progress and of course recommend other injections. In the night, I would be sneaked out of the hospital to Kampala Imaging Center under heavy security. It was here that they found damage on one of my kidneys. Some of the affected parts of my body from that ordeal have never fully recovered. Unfortunately, when I was leaving that place, they refused to give me even one page of my medical report.
What I wanted to highlight in this post is the sick cruelty of the regime in Uganda. They torture you to near death and then send shameless people like Simon Peter Kinobe on TV to claim that you were not tortured! They may even get some of their paid bloggers and propagandists to mock you and make fun on you. I remember how Jacob Oulanya came to chat with me and secretly recorded a video of me smiling so as I tell the world that I was okay- after all I could even afford to laugh!
While they do this in the public, behind the scenes, they are busy doing everything possible so that when you finally appear before the media, you appear as if you have not been touched.
I highly suspect they are doing the same thing to Kakwenza if he is still alive. After subjecting him to grave torture, they must be trying to treat him so that by the time they bring him to the public, he is presentable enough. Can you imagine that the thugs insisted that my wife brings a suit for my court appearance? The thugs even forced me to have a hair cut?
It is very sad that Museveni, once a prized revolutionary, is going down as a despot who led one of the most evil, cruel and brutal systems in history.