KAMPALA – A city lawyer, who was reportedly kidnapped by armed men last week, has reappeared.
Mr Patrick Machika Mugisha of Mwesige Mugisha & Co Advocates returned home on Sunday evening after spending four days missing. He is said to be in good health and without any physical harm.
According to his wife, Ms Janet Kyamazima, the lawyer had spent four days in a safe house in Kyengera that is manned by the Internal Security Organization.
She added that Mr Mugisha was released without charge. He promised to issue a press statement to explain his ordeal.
Mr Mugisha is said to have been picked up by security operatives on Wednesday 31st July 2019 from his chambers in Muyenga, a city suburb.
The Uganda Law Society (ULS) had on Saturday given the director of Internal Security Organisation (ISO), Col. Frank Kaka Bagyenda, up to Wednesday, August 7th to release the lawyer or they prosecute him.
The ULS president, Mr Simon Peter M. Kinobe, accused Col Bagyenda of usurping the powers of other security agencies and acting with impunity by kidnapping, intimidating, harassing and arresting lawyers without any reason.
“The ISO Director has now taken over the role of other security agencies and has turned ISO into a clearing agency for wealthy individuals to the detriment of regular citizens. Despite the lack of statutory mandate to arrest and detain, the same has continually detained citizens in places not gazetted by law and beyond the statutory period of 48 hours. The most notorious safe house used by ISO is in Kyengera protected by the military police under the command of the UPDF,” Mr Kinobe’s letter reads in part.
“As Uganda Law Society, we cannot continue to look on as a few individuals descend our country into chaos without reprisal. We cannot be observers in the perpetration of impunity with no call to action. We accordingly call upon all lawyers to action, To prosecute both criminally and in civil court the director of ISO Col. Frank Kaka Bagyenda for these acts of impunity and, to demand the immediate unconditional release of our Advocates illegally arrested and detained by the said ISO. Should ISO fail to comply with our demands to unconditionally release the detained citizens by Wednesday the 7th Day of August 2019, we shall have no choice but to further escalate the matter,” he added.
On Friday, court ordered security agencies to present Mr Mugisha before the High Court with immediate effect. The Court issued the order against the Attorney General (AG), Chief of Defence Forces (UPDF), the Commander of Special Forces Command (SFC), commandant of Special Investigations Unit at Kireka and Inspector General of Uganda Police.