29 August 2018

Uganda: Bobi Saga - Tortured Women Narrate Ordeal

Photo: Le Pays
Bobi Wine.

Among the 33 other Ugandans accused of treason together with Bobi Wine and three other MPs are three women.

Their names are at the bottom of the charge sheet. For most of the last two weeks their fate was not known since they were last seen being helped to limp into court.

Now out on bail, they narrated their ordeals to lawyers:

1. Night Asara, 38, district councilor for Arua Hill Division, and mother of three told of her violent arrest. A senior police officer kicked, stomped and used the gun butt of an assault rifle to repeatedly hit her multiple times in the torso.

Night was with a group that was bundled onto police vehicles, driven at break-neck speed to Gulu. In Gulu, she and other female detainees report that they were threatened with rape and death by police officers including a commander.

Night who had C-Section during delivery of one of her children has a delicate scar. She was in severe pain especially in the pelvic area and torso. For days she was passing blood in her urine as result of torture.

2. Caroline Nalubowa, 28, a resident of Arua. At 7pm Nalubowa had gone to buy a drink at Hotel Royal. She had just left the bar counter with her drink when a hail of bullets thundered outside.

Shortly after a soldier grabbed Nalubowa, threw her drink away and assaulted her viciously. She was dragged outside and told to lie down with the rest.

Soldiers stomped on her back and kicked her repeatedly. She was later transferred to Gulu Police Station.

3: Akira Maida, 23, works as a cashier. She's a mother of a one year and three months old baby. She was a bystander who had left the baby at the hotel with someone. When the chaos ensued, Akira started running towards the hotel to get her baby but she didn't make it. A group of armed men caught and roughed her up severely.

Consequently, she was injured in her abdomen and now passes blood whenever she urinates. The minder Akira had left with her baby also run for her life, leaving the baby behind. Akira was later told that her baby was picked up by a 'good Samaritan'.

4. Jane Abola, 31, was a guest at Hotel Pacific when the Special Forces Command soldiers and police raided. She is a resident of Kampala. She was not part of the electoral campaign in Arua or any related activities. Abola is a mother of three.

Abola was woken up by loud gunfire. It wasn't long before loud bangs on her door and demands that she opens the room door which she did immediately. Armed men in military uniform descended on her, slapping and kicking her.

Abola told lawyers that the men asked her to reveal the whereabouts of Bobi Wine. When Abola said she didn't know, this further infuriated them. Led by a man she identified as the Regional Police Commander, they hit her multiple times with a gun butt and kicked her repeatedly all over the body.

Abola was taken to Arua Police Station, thrown into a packed room. At 2.00am she was bundled onto a vehicle driven to Gulu Police Station. Her children are aged 9 years, 5 years and three months whom she had left in Kampala.

Throughout these sad narrations, the name of Regional Police Commander Jonathan Musinguzi and Gulu District Police Commander Emmanuel Mafundo come up as having been central to the torture of those arrested.

Interviewed for a comment yesterday, Army spokesperson Richard Karemire said the army has launched an inquiry to ascertain what exactly happened in Arua and hold the errant security operatives to account.

More on This

Tortured Bobi Wine Admitted to Rubaga Hospital

Kyaddondo East Member of Parliament, Mr Robert Kyagulanyi alias Bobi Wine has been admitted to Lubaga Hospital. Read more »

See What Everyone is Watching

Copyright © 2018 The Observer. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 600 reports a day from more than 140 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.