KAMPALA – The security agencies in the country are once again in the spotlight after another video emerged on Thursday showing a group of armed men in civilian clothes severely beating a man before bundling him into a waiting taxi and speeding off.
The incident, which happened in front of Christ the King Catholic Church at the heart of the city, showed the armed men beating the helpless man with gun buts and kicking him in the stomach as they ordered him to enter the taxi. His pleas for mercy fall on deaf ears as the shocked members of the public look on. He is eventually carried to the taxi, which drives off.
It was not clear which security unit belongs to. Army spokesperson Brigadier Richard Karemire, when contacted, referred us to his deputy, Lt Col Deo Akiiki, who confirmed he had seen the videos but promised to verify.
“I have just seen the videos but let me first verify before I make any comments,” he said on Thursday evening. He had not verified by the time of posting the story.
However, highly placed security forces told this website that the armed men are from the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI).
The videos have since attracted public condemnation. “So how does gov’t come out to deny the fact that they are not responsible for the torture, killings and kidnaps of its citizens in the country,” said Jerem Olivia on Facebook. Ndyatunga Simon added: “This is horrible and inhuman, why do you torture someone who is already down? It is not like he is refusing to be arrested!”
Security agencies have recently come under public scrutiny over torture and brutality of civilians in the aftermath of the Arua Municipality by-election violence that led to the arrest of MP Robert Kyagulanyi, commonly known as Bobi Wine.
As Bobi Wine returned from the USA where he had gone for treatment last month, several of his supporters were brutalized by stick-wielding soldiers.
The Minister of Defence in charge General Duties, Col Charles Okello Engola, later denied that UPDF soldiers brutalised civilians. When MPs insisted they had enough evidence and videos showing Ugandan army carrying sticks and brutalising Ugandans, he said the pictures and videos that had been circulating in the media, were of an army in some country in West Africa.