On the morning of 16th of January, I received a call from our president H.E . Kyagulanyi Ssentamu Robert notifying me of a presser he had organised for all NUP MP-elects later that day. Upon my arrival at the first roadblock staged before the ‘Freedom Drive’ signpost near my President’s home in Magere, I encountered several members of local and foreign press. Some MPs too had already arrived. I had a press briefing with the press crew who briefly interviewed me about the political persecution I’ve faced on several occasions.
After interview, I sought clearance at the roadblock to access my President’s home but the officers referred me to their overall commander whom they said was ahead. They removed their barricades and I proceeded towards his home, where I encountered another roadblock I hadn’t been told about. I was informed from this roadblock that I wouldn’t proceed to my President’s residence under any circumstances without without clearance from the overall commander. The junior officers informed me that their commander was a few metres close to my President’s gate and therefore I should individually reach out to him to seek access to his home. I proceeded to the final check point to have a word with the commander.
I politely requested for passage into his home. He refused and ordered me to make a U-turn to go back where I was coming from. I told him that detaining my President at home without any charges was illegal, and then turned to walk back to my vehicle. No sooner had I turned my back to head back into my vehicle than the commander pushed my head and I fell down on my walking clutch. He grabbed the clutch and started hitting me with the clutch till it split in half. The commander then ordered his men to carry me shoulder high, and then dump me on the ground. Meanwhile, my driver was covering the incident from a distance using his mobile phone camera. They charged at him, confiscated his phone and thumped him mercilessly till he fled back into the vehicle. They then bundled me under the tyres of my vehicle and in the process my sunglasses shattered. They kept grilling me to explain what exactly Bobi Wine and NUP were planning. “What are you doing here? This is not Mityana. You think this country belongs to you?,” the commander barked. I kept wailing and calling out for help but no body could come to my rescue.
Later, the mobile police patrol car arrived and I was bundled in. My suitcoat had been torn in the process so they removed it together with my shirt and me and left my chest exposed. They then threw my broken sunglasses and clutch away, and then whisked me away at breakneck speed. I was driven to Kasangati Police Station where they confiscated all my belongings before putting me in a cell. They took my watch, cash worth UGX 1.7m, my belt, and then ordered suspects I had found in the cell to tie me up but the suspects declined. Angered by the defiance of the suspects, the police officers instituted more beatings on me. They hit my knuckles, ankles, elbows, shoulders, and my neck. One of them dug his nails into my face and left me scarred around the forehead and my eyes. When they were done with the battering, they started being me to leave the cells upon realising that my health had deteriorated. Operatives from SIU Kireka where I was tortured from last year including Musa Walugembe and Hamudan Twesigye were present at the scene. They ordered me to leave their cells saying that they had informed my wife and that she was already on her way to collect me. “We’ve talked to Bridget and we have the ambulance ready. We can drive you to the hospital of your choice or at home,” they said.
They then handed back some of my belongings thye had confiscated and then bundled me into their ambulance. It was around then that our Spokesperson Hon. Joel Ssenyonyi arrived. I had left him at the police road block. On his arrival, the police goons rushed me to Rubaga hospital and dumped me there without even saying anything to the hospital management. Subsequent medical examination revealed that I had sustained injuries around my eyes and face. My neck bone was injured, and I had sustained abdominal muscular strains that todate have affected my walking and standing abilities. I cannot sit or stand on my own. My limb joints too were weakened and can’t ably support my locomotion. The knuckles, ankles and fingers still hurt. Up to now I’m still languishing in agony but I’m steadily recuperating and I believe in a few days I’ll be discharged. Doctors have now advised me to take rest and go for further medical management so that I can fully recover. I’m however puzzled by the police remarks that whatever I faced was self inflicted. This is a consistent narrative they’ve sustained right from the first time they tortured me in their custody to evade accountability. Regarding the struggle, even as I’m confined to my sickbed, I will not give up. We are not giving up regardless of the repression imposed on us. I will start from where I had stopped. Our struggle is within our souls. You may weaken our bodies but not our resolve. We are still firm and focused. It is only a few of us confined to sickbeds, jail cells, torture Chambers and the like. Majority of those in the struggle are free. Our struggle will continue until our country is free from the chains of dictatorship. #JusticeForTortureVictims#WeAreRemovingADictator#FreePoliticalPrisoners