KAMPALA – Mityana Municipality MP Francis Zaake has revealed that during torture at Special Investigations Unit (SIU) and Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI), he was forced to swear allegiance to support the future presidency of First Son Muhoozi Kainerugaba.
Speaking on Monday, May 4, 2020, for the first time in an interview from Rubaga Hospital in Kampala where he is admitted following torture, Zaake opened up on what he called the worst torture he has ever experienced in his lifetime.
The legislator, who alongside Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine also suffered torture by security operatives in the 2018 Arua Municipality by-election fracas, revealed that security operatives at the torture chamber stepped on his head, at the back and kicked him in the ribs as they made him swear that he would never ever again oppose the leadership of President Yoweri Museveni, First Lady Janet and First Son Muhoozi Kainerugaba.
Zaake added that during this time, they made him also swear that he was withdrawing support for Bobi Wine, whom he said soldiers kept saying that he would never rule Uganda.
He further revealed that his torture kept alternating from the CMI Headquarters to SIU unit where during each torture session, he was handcuffed from behind, suspended in air beaten, slapped and kicked for much of the day until he could no longer sit or see.
The legislator added that during the torture sessions, one of the men who identified himself as Twesigye Amudan often warned him to back off politics and support his father’s business, saying the latter had become rich under President Museveni.
According to Zaake, following days of torture in an isolated chamber, he was eventually put in another cell where he found dozens of people. Among them, he said he was able to identify Voice of Africa journalist he only identified as Katende.
The legislator added that the captives told him that they undergo torture on a daily basis and have been in detention for many years while they are fed on one meal a day.
Zaake revealed that during his torture, he was given one meal of porridge a day while no family member or MP was allowed to see him.
He added that following a court order directing his release, he was allowed to meet Jinja East MP Paul Mwiru. Zaake revealed that when Mwiru saw the state in he was in, he nearly cried and demanded that the legislator be released for medical attention.
However, Zaake revealed that when he told Mwiru of the torture he went through, the operative he called Twesigye subjected him to more beatings.
He was eventually driven to court.
Mr Elias Kakooza, the Mityana chief magistrate, on Monday, April 27 ordered that Zaake first medical attention before his case is heard.
Mr Zaake was appearing before court on charges of attempted murder.
He was arrested on April 19, for allegedly distributing food to his constituents. The state says that Mr Zaake violated social distancing guidelines that were spelt out by the government to control the spread of COVID-19.
According to Mr Kakooza, Mr Zaake was in a poor physical state to stand trial.