MP Zaake details ordeal he went through during his arrests

Mityana Municipality Member of Parliament, Mr Francis Butebi Zaake says he can clearly identify security operatives who arrested and tortured him the night before the August 13 Arua Municipality by-election.

Mr Zaake says that besides the faces, he can vividly remember uniform name tags of the security officers who tortured him.

He claims that they wore Special Forces Command – SFC uniform and were communicating in Runyankole and Swahili languages.

The MP who recently returned from India where he received specialised treatment was on Monday speaking to journalists at his home in Nalumunye, Wakiso District.

Although most of the victims of the Arua fracas have shared their stories, little or nothing about Mr Zaake’s experience had been shared.

The legislator went missing after being arrested. Speculation was rife that he was being held in an unknown detention centre.

However, unknown people dropped the unconscious MP at Lubaga Hospital, two days later.

He bore atrocious injuries on his fingers, ears and other parts of the body.

Apart from Mr Zaake, all the 33 Opposition supporters and politicians who were arrested have since been prosecuted.

It is alleged that they commanded a team of youth who obstructed the president’s motorcade and pelted it with stones smashing the windscreen of one of the vehicles in the convoy.

Mr Zaake, says that after the rally, their group never attacked the president’s convoy as some people have claimed.

He said that the day before, he was in Mityana where he met local council chairpersons.

He said that since his driver was not around, he called Kyadondo East MP, Mr Robert Kyagulanyi alias Bobi Wine, to send him a driver.

Mr Kyagulanyi sent his deriver, Yasin Kawuuma, who drove him to Arua.

Kawuma was shot dead the night 33 Opposition politicians and activists were arrested.

He said that after the rally, he went to the hotel were they had booked.

He said that shortly after arriving at the hotel, he heard people outside the hotel wailing and yelling that Kawuma had been gunned down which prompted him to rush out of his room to go and witness what had happened.

He said that as he got closer to the scene, a multitude of gun-wielding security operatives surrounded him.

“Six guys surrounded me. I can remember their faces very well. They had name tags on their army uniforms. They kicked me while asking the whereabouts of my colleagues. But before I could even utter a word, they kicked me again forcing me to fall hard,” Mr Zake said.

Mr Zaake said that that his captors took him to some house where they tied him with ropes and started piecing his body with various sharp objects like gun bayonets while some of them squeezed his testicles.

“They cut and pierced my hands before tying them. They wanted me to direct them where my colleagues were; something I didn’t do,” he said.

He says that when he returned from India, security officers who transported him to his home, pleaded with him not to narrate what happened in Arua so that all pending cases against him are dropped.

According to reports, Mr Zaake was dumped at Arua Police Station where other politicians who were in Arua to campaign for Mr Kassiano Wadri had been detained.

Politicians and other activists in the detention centre pleaded with security operatives to take Mr Zaake, who condition had deteriorated, to hospital.

Mr Zaake challenges police and government officials who claimed that he escaped from a health facility in Arua, to produce evidence like the hospital admission form to support their position

Mr Zaake says they are ready to continue the fight until Uganda gets “better” political leadership.

He said that a number of government officials have been threatening and trying to bribe his wife as well as his father [a wealthy businessman in Mityana town], to entice him out of the struggle.

He says that his legal team is ready to sue individuals who tortured him plus doctors at Kiruddu Hospital who treated him against his will.

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