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I can identify soldiers who brutalized me, says MP Zaake

The Mityana Municipality MP Francis Zaake while addressing a presser at his home on Monday said he is able to identify his tormentors. (FILE PHOTO)

KAMPALA- Mityana Municipality MP Francis Zaake has said he can identify the soldiers that brutalized him during the violence that occurred in Arua Municipality on 13th August.

In a press conference held at his home on Monday, the legislator also dismissed as falsehoods claim that he escaped from police custody.

Mr Zaake said after successfully holding the last campaign rally for Kasiano Wadri, they peacefully retired to their hotel in Arua Municipality.

“I went directly to my room, while in my room, I heard a voice that drew nearer and stronger towards my room yelling that Yassin had been gunned down, I couldn’t believe it, so I rushed out of the room to where the incident had happened, when I was just about to reach the tundra vehicle parked in the yard of the Hotel, a multitude of gun-wielding men swarmed in and I retreated back into my hotel room,” he said.

“These guys followed me hastily, forced their way into my room, asked me to put my hands in the air, before I could even do it, one of them kicked me down, they started asking me that which rooms are your colleagues while the beating continuously. Hearing “I don’t know” from me was a catalyst that intensified the beating, this time round they started squeezing and pulling down hard my testicles, oh God! That was so painful,” he added.

The MP, who returned from India recently where he had gone for treatment, added that as they beat him, the soldiers said they would kill him if he did not support Museveni.”..while maiming me, they warned that they will kill me if I don’t stop fighting Museveni to which I responded that, if that is the reason for beating me, then you would rather kill me now because I will never be indifferent about the injustices he does to others, we shall push him until he gets out of our way, Uganda is for all of us,” he added.

“My response caused them to tie my hands behind my back from where they started piercing various parts of my body using gun bayonets (gun knives), they pierced my ears, my stomach, my back and my hands as well. They beat me up hard with butts of their guns, squeezed my ankles, toes, fingers and shin using pliers. That was painful!”

Mr Zaake says they are ready to continue the fight until Uganda gets “better” political leadership.

He said that a number of government officials have been threatening and trying to bribe his wife as well as his father [a wealthy businessman in Mityana town], to entice him out of the struggle.

He said that his legal team is ready to sue individuals who tortured him plus doctors at Kiruddu Hospital who treated him against his will.

See full statement below

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

As you are aware, my life had ended following the gruesome acts that occurred in Arua Municipality on the 13th day of August 2018.

I have heard on the radio, watched on television and read stories in papers reporting what happened to me, some have a semblance of truth and yet others are just baseless allegations shamelessly made by the person of the President.

It has taken me long to respond with the truth because I have not been robust. Now that I am able, let me dispel the myths and share my ordeal.

My story

We had made a resolution as People Power to support Hon. Kasiano Wadri in Arua Municipality by-election. On 12th August 2018, We set off [ with our driver now Late Yasin Kavuma] from Kawempe at around 9.00pm and by 4.00am we were already in Arua.

On reaching Arua, each one of us went to his room which had been reserved by colleagues in one of the two hotels they had chosen to occupy. We went to the rally which was closed at around 5.40pm, after the rally we moved in a procession peacefully with the crowd and reached a point where we bade them farewell.

I went directly to my room, while in my room, I heard a voice that drew nearer and stronger towards my room yelling that Yassin had been gunned down, I couldn’t believe it, so I rushed out of the room to where the incident had happened, when I was just about to reach the tundra vehicle parked in the yard of the Hotel, a multitude of gun-wielding men swarmed in and I retreated back into my hotel room. These guys followed me hastily, forced their way into my room, asked me to put my hands in the air, before I could even do it, one of them kicked me down, they started asking me that which rooms are your colleagues while the beating continuously. Hearing “I don’t know” from me was a catalyst that intensified the beating, this time round they started squeezing and pulling down hard my testicles, oh God! That was so painful.

They pierced various parts of my body using gun bayonets -gun knives

while maiming me they warned that they will kill me if I don’t stop fighting Museveni to which I responded that, if that is the reason for beating me, then you would rather kill me now because I will never be indifferent about the injustices he does to others, we shall push him until he gets out of our way, Uganda is for all of us.

My response caused them to tie my hands behind my back from where they started piercing various parts of my body using gun bayonets (gun knives), they pierced my ears, my stomach, my back, and my hands as well. They beat me up hard with butts of their guns, squeezed my ankles, toes, fingers, and shin using pliers. That was painful! Recently you saw what happened to comrade Kawooya on Colville Street, in broad daylight when the whole world is watching, the way he was abducted by soldiers donning civilian attire, they beat him up with impunity, and can you imagine what happens to those that are battered where there are no cameras? Terrible things I suffered! But that is the country we are living in.

These guys battered me until I could no longer feel the pain, even then, the beating continued. I could neither stand nor support myself, they dragged me out into a minibus where they pushed me under the seats. That is my last memory of the events that occurred before finding myself in Lubaga Hospital. Those who saw me in particular, Hon. Mwiru, Hon. Karuhanga and Hon. Wadri says that the SFC goons after battering me to the extent that I was imagined dead, they abandoned me at Arua Police Station with them. I am told that the police refused and they left with me to a place no one knows but those that carried me

It was on Saturday 18th .08.2018 when I gained consciousness while in Lubaga Hospital, probably because it is where I was treated the other time before leaving for overseas, I think that they (police) felt comfortable dropping me in the vicinity of the Hospital. I do further task them to explain to me and the public how I got to Lubaga Hospital.

While in Lubaga, a thorough diagnosis of my body was done and it was established that my situation could best be handled with advanced medical equipments which are lacking in Uganda.

 

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