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Victims of Security Brutality in Masaka Struggle to Get Justice

Jamiru Walugembe, the Chairperson of Kimayanya B cell in Kimanya-Kabonera division and one of the victims sued the Chief Defense of Forces-CDF, the Kasijjagirwa UPDF Armored Brigade Commander Brigadier General Deus Sande, and the Brigade Intelligence Officer Major Fred Kasimoni Mushabo, over torture he suffered in the hands of the military.
Walugembe with his lawyers at Masaka court

Audio 3

Victims who were brutalized by security personnel during the January general elections are struggling to get justice.

 Protests broke out in different parts of Masaka shortly after the Electoral Commission declared the incumbent president, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni as the winner of the presidential elections with 58 percent of the total votes cast.

However, the announcement didn’t go down well with some voters in Masaka, saying the election had been rigged to favour Museveni against his National Unity Platform-NUP rival, Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu alias Bobi Wine who become second. 

Many NUP supporters were arrested, tortured and some lost their lives as the military and police engaged protesters.

Jamiru Walugembe, the Chairperson of Kimayanya B cell in Kimanya-Kabonera division and one of the victims sued the Chief Defense of Forces-CDF, the Kasijjagirwa UPDF Armored Brigade Commander Brigadier General Deus Sande, and the Brigade Intelligence Officer Major Fred Kasimoni Mushabo, over torture he suffered in the hands of the military.

Walugembe narrates that the security operatives pounced on him from his workplace in Masaka town before he was detained in the Uganda People Defense Forces-UPDF Barracks at Kassijagirwa in Masaka where he was tortured by soldiers. 

Walugembe who still has visible scars and bruises is however disappointed that the court case he filed against aggressors has failed to commence hence frustrating his pursuit for justice. 

He explains that he also sued the Attorney General and asked the court to grant him compensation for the inhuman and degrading treatment, but none of the parties has ever made any formal response to the suit that was filed in February.

Walugembe, who is an opposition supporter, however, denies participating in any election-related protests, arguing that he was simply targeted because of his political opinion.

//Cue in: (Luganda) “basanga mu town…..   

  Cue out; ….nabwo kati bwazze.”//

Isha Alinda the lawyer who filed the suit for the victim says, they have failed to advocate for a speedy trial which has frustrated the victim.

He explains that the matter had been fixed for hearing at the beginning of this month but to their dismay, it was further adjourned for another seven months.

Alinda, says that his client has been denied the opportunity of benefiting from the entitlements of a speedy court process as provided for in the constitution.

//Cue in: “we filed this matter…  

Cue out; …..to protect him.”//    Luganda  

  //Cue in: “client wange…..   

  Cue out; …..tetuli basanyufu.”//

Jameson Karemani the Spokesperson of the Judiciary denies having deliberate attempts to frustrate the trial. He says that there is currently a shortage of judges as many are hearing election petitions.

Another victim Hakim Kigozi, who was also detained for a week in the aftermath of the election, says he gave up on the court case after police failed to record his statement. He says although he was not physically tortured, he suffered undue psychological distress at the military detention in Kasijjagirwa, where he was locked inside a dark-cold room for days.

Major Ninsiima Rwemijuma, the UPDF Armored Bridge Spokesperson has declined to comment about the incidents which he says occurred when he was out of the station.