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Lugazi Resident Accuses LDUs of Torture

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According to Zimula, he left his saloon in Lugazi town on July 9, 2019 after work and decided to retire to his home in Namengo cell. He however, says he was ambushed by LDU personnel at Luyanzi, a bushy area around 10pm.
Ivan Zimula resting on a small mattress on the flow where he says feels better than any other place.

Audio 2

Ivan Zimula, a resident of Namengo cell in Lugazi Central Division in Buikwe district is struggling with a damaged spine after allegedly being battered by Local Defense Unit-LDU personnel. 

The father of two has spent the last past two months lying helplessly on his back with nowhere to turn for help. 

A medical report prepared by Dr. Felix Kigoma from Kawolo hospital, says Zimula suffered injuries on his spine, which has affected his movement. Zimula currently moves with the help of a gait belt strapped around his waist.   How did it happen?  

According to Zimula, he left his saloon in Lugazi town on July 9, 2019 after work and decided to retire to his home in Namengo cell. He however, says he was ambushed by LDU personnel at Luyanzi, a bushy area around 10pm.

Zimula explains that before mentioning his name, the LDUs ordered him to kneel down before they grabbed his back pack and emptied its belonging including football boots and training gears. 

In addition to running a saloon business, Zimula also earned a living through playing football with the West Nile Football Club at Najjembe. 

He explains that one of the LDUs picked his deodorant spray and pocketed it before searching his trousers where he picked Shillings 180, 000 he had earned throughout the entire week.

Zimula says another LDU searched the same pocket where his colleague had picked money and shouted loudly claiming he had found there Marijuana.  

According to Zimula, it is at this point that the LDUs descended on him and started slapping him until he couldn’t hear any more.  

Luganda Audio  

//Cue in: “Mpozi wenfunira e…

Cue out: …oli yankebeza maaso”//

He says the LDUs later split into teams, leaving one group to monitor him. He however, says the situation worsened when the group that had left returned.  

According to Zimula, the LDUs descended on him and thumped him into comma. He regained his consciousness the next day while at Kawolo hospital.  

//Cue in: “Nasooka ansabula zi…

Cue out: …nebakuba nga sikyayimuka”//  

He says medical examinations disclosed that he had sustained injuries on his spine. Zimula says he enrolled for physiotherapy at African Center for Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture Victims-ACTRTV but has now failed to raise transport to Kampala for nine days.     

His sister, Irene Ssanyu wonders why the LDUs who were deployed to manage security in their area have now turned against residents they are supposed to protect. 

“We have used the little we have to treat our brother but we are now on the wall. We tasked police to take responsibility for treating him but they ignored us. We opened a criminal case expecting to take the matter to court but the file went missing at Lugazi State Attorney’s office,” Ssanyu told our reporter.   She claims that they were later told that the file had been sent to Mukono where it was allegedly taken. Ssanyu wonders why the file was taken to Mukono without their consent.

Jane Francis Kagaayi, the Buikwe Residents District Commissioner notes that they are closely following up the matter. 

“We are figuring out the major cause Zimula’s condition, why and what exactly happened. But what has been happening in Buikwe is criminality of youths moving during the night stealing people’s properties. After the communities’ outcry LDUs were also deployed in Lugazi town and they had helped in reducing some of these crimes,” she said.

She also urges residents to report acts of misconduct committed by LDUs, saying they will be held to account.  There have been numerous complaints of torture, extortion and harassment by residents against LDUs in Lugazi Municipality.