18 November 2018

Uganda: Police Summon MP Zaake Over Arua Chaos

Kampala — Mityana Municipality MP Francis Zaake has been summoned to appear before the police's Criminal Investigations Department (CID) on Wednesday to be questioned on possible charges of escaping from police custody and treason.

Mr Zaake told Sunday Monitor that he has received the summonses and will turn up for questioning. He has, however, described the act of the police as "reckless and traumatising" because he is still recovering from "physical and psychological wounds" that he suffered during the chaos that happened in the lead up to the Arua Municipality by-election in August. Bugiri Municipality MP and lawyer Asuman Basalirwa, who represents Mr Zaake, also confirmed that his client will show up for interrogation.

"They arrested me, beat me to near death, threw me at a Lubaga Hospital gate and then they decide that I answer charges that should be against them, the perpetrators. Other than witch hunt, such action is persecution," Mr Zaake said on Saturday.

Accusations

Police accuses Mr Zaake of escaping from Arua central police station on August 13 where he had been detained after arrest from a hotel after allegations he was incited violence leading to alleged stoning of President Museveni's motorcade.

But he said an almost dead person could not escape and the charges against him are a shame.

"Those who saw me at the time imagined me dead. They tied my hands and started to cut various parts of my body using bayonets as others pierced my ears, stomach, back and hands. They beat me up with butts of their guns, squeezed my ankles, toes, fingers using pliers. They pulled my genitals- those people are bad," Mr Zaake said.

His arrest along other Opposition figures started with brutality in which Yasin Kawuma, the man who drove him to Arua, was killed in bitter violence on the last day of Arua Municipality Parliamentary by-election. At least 36 people, including five MPs were tortured, detained and later charged with treason.

Earlier summons

In a letter to Mr Zaake through the Speaker of Parliament dated November 16, the Director of CIID, Ms Grace Akulo, invited Mr Zaake to be quizzed on alleged Treason and escape from police custody.

"You are therefore in pursuance of the provision of Section 27A of the Police Act (As amended)) required to appear before the Deputy Director, Investigations at CID Headquarters, Kibuli on November 21, 2018 at 0900 hours who will guide you on the next course of action," reads part of the letter signed by the director of criminal investigations, AIGP Grace Akullo.

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