ENTEBBE – President Yoweri Museveni on Monday defended the soldiers who brutalized several MPs following the chaos in the Arua Municipality by-election campaigns on August 13.
Addressing the NRM parliamentary caucus at State House Entebbe, the President reportedly claimed that the MPs Robert Kyagulanyi (Kyadondo East) and Francis Zaake (Mityana Municipality) resisted arrest, threw punches at soldiers, prompting the latter to react in self-defence.
Sources that attended the meeting claimed that the President claimed that he had personally interviewed the soldiers involved in a scuffle and they had told him that Bobi Wine and Zaake had responded with blows when the SFC soldiers approached them after the attack on his convoy.
Mr Museveni reportedly told the ruling party MPs that after the attack on his convoy, SFC soldiers went to the hotel where the MPs, including Kassiano Wadri, were residing.
The President particularly claimed that Zaake and Bobi Wine were found in their hotel room and when the SFC soldiers approached them, they threw punches and had to be subdued.
“I personally interviewed the soldiers who were involved in a scuffle with Bobi Wine and Francis Zaake. They responded with blows when my soldiers approached them after the attack on my convoy,” the President is reported to have said.
The President’s claims are a total deviation of what Bobi Wine told his brother, Eddy Yawe, during his incarceration at Makindye Military Barracks.
“Bobi Wine told us that after the successful rally that evening, they returned to their hotel room to rest. A few minutes after 8pm, Bobi Wine had gunshots outside. He descended from upstairs to see what was happening. Friends advised that he stays in his room since the gunshots had been fired at his driver [Yasiin Kawuma]. Despite his persistence, he was forcefully taken back to his room,” Yawe told a press conference on August 20.
“At 8.30pm, he heard rooms of the hotel being broken into. People wailed as they were taken out. The noise stopped at about 10.40pm. By around 3am, they came back and this time headed straight to his door in the hotel. Just before they could open the door wide, Bobi Wine put up his hands and told them that he did not have any problem. He had Shs3.7m, which he had put in his stockings together with his cellular phone. He was told to kneel by a group of about 15-17 uniformed men.
“One of the soldiers said… ‘you disturbed us in Jinja, you went to Bugiri and disturbed us and now you want to do the same here’… The men hit him with an iron bar on the head, ransacking him and pulled his genitals until he lost his consciousness.”
“He gained his consciousness when the guards told him he was in Gulu. When he went to urinate, he was passing out more blood than urine. Bobi Wine was then carried to a room he says was like a meeting room but could hardly recognise the people there. After the meeting, he was airlifted to Makindye Military Barracks on Thursday night.”