Journalist Speaks of Own Abduction Off Ugandan Street

According to Ugandan MP, Robert Kyagulanyi, also known as Bobi Wine, hundreds of his supporters have been abducted in recent months. Many Ugandans now have harrowing stories of being taken in the streets by armed men in unlicensed vehicles. Some were well-known critics of the regime, expressing their freedom of expression. Others were just in the wrong place at the wrong time, writes Nangayi Guyson, an independent investigative journalist based in Kampala. Guyson tells his own abduction story: "For the last few years in Uganda, I had taken stories of President Yoweri Museveni's government kidnapping political opponents with a pinch of salt. Even as I campaigned as a parliamentary candidate for the opposition Alliance for National Transformation (ANT) ahead of the January 14, 2021 elections, I presumed that presidential challenger Bobi Wine was exaggerating when he claimed that thousands of his supporters were being abducted," he says. Guyson says he was on his way to the capital Kampala to contest the vote in court when three men took him, they drove 14 km to a court in Kira, on the outskirts of Kampala, where a minor civil case he was involved in was heard. He was sentenced to a month in prison. Some of the things he obsevered while there, were the towering perimeter wall and the dozens of CCTV cameras that permanently watch the inmates whether they are in the large prison wards, one of the 30 cells, or the outdoor spaces. He says inside the prison, even the very basics of life were unbearable. To go the toilet, you had to ask for permission and then kneel in line. Those who took ill, if they had the chance to see a doctor, were told there's no medicine and would be advised to drink water, yet clean water is often unavailable. President Yoweri Museveni has either denied the abductions or insisted that those detained, are criminals. 

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