GULU: Mr Abdulrahman Ssekyanzi, a businessman in Gulu Town, was arrested from his residence in Pece Division on October 4 by five operatives from police and Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI).
He was among nine suspects who were picked in a covert operation by CMI in Gulu and Adjumani districts over the shooting of former Buyende District Police Commander Muhammad Kirumira.
Kirumira was killed on September 8 in Bulenga, Wakiso District, by unknown gunmen who were riding a motorcycle.
Mr Ssekyanzi was taken to a secret detention cell before he was transferred to the police Special Investigations Department in Kireka. He was released on police bond on Sunday afternoon.
Speaking to Daily Monitor in an interview on Wednesday, Mr Ssekyanzi said the security operatives clobbered him with car wheel spanners as they drove him to Adjumani during their operation.
How he was arrested?
The father of two, [one-year-old child and a month-old baby] said on the fateful day, a strange man called him by telephone and asked whether he could help him find a room for operating a hardware shop in Gulu Municipality.
“It was about 10am when a man called me. He asked for my help in looking for a house for setting up a hardware shop. I had no knowledge of him, so I hesitated to accept. He had promised to get back to me the next day but shortly later he called back that he was already in town and wanted to meet me,” Mr Ssekyanzi said.
He added that the man would later tell him to meet him at Don Petrol Station for discussions on the hardware business.
“When I went to Don Petrol Station, I first hid myself in a cover to try to understand the person who was calling me. Upon looking at him, I realised he was someone I had seen earlier in the morning at around my workplace. I got scared but nevertheless I went ahead to meet him,” Mr Ssekyanzi narrated.
He said after discussions on how he could help him get the business premises, he went back to his home but 30 minutes later, five men in civilian clothes stormed his house and ordered him out.
“One of the men showed me an identity card belonging to Uganda Police Force; they asked me to move with them towards the roadside where I was later dragged into a white Noah car. Some of the occupants in the car had guns. They covered my head with a hood and drove me to Gulu Central Police station,” he recounted. He said he was later driven to Adjumani Town where he was joined by his business partner Abbasi Wasswa.
“They tortured me while being driven to Gulu Central Police Station and later to Adjumani. One of them used a wheel spanner and hit my hip bone. Others stepped on my head with their boots, they asked me several questions among others whether I know about ADF [Allied Democratic Forces] and Kirumira but told them I only knew about Kirumira’s death which I watched on TV and read in Bukedde newspaper,” Ssekyanzi said.
Mr Ssekyanzi started working with Mr Wasswa about two months ago trading in mudfish which the latter buys from Adjumani and sends to him [Ssekyanzi] in Gulu. He would pay Wasswa by Mobile Money.
“On the day I was arrested, I had received 15kg of mudfish from Mr Wasswa. We had a telephone conversation and acknowledged receipt of the fish. I was meant to send the money later,” he said.
He said the security operatives arrested Mr Wasswa and three others including a 15-year-old boy. “When they arrested Mr Wasswa in the evening, a crowd tried to form around the operatives but they dispersed them by firing live bullets in the air. While in the car, they asked Mr Wasswa about a one Abbubakar Kalungi’s whereabouts, he was reluctant to talk but after torture, he disclosed that he was in Hoima District,” he said.
Mr Kalungi, 47, a carpenter and resident of Wakiso District was last week charged in Wakiso Magistrate’s Court with two counts of murder including Kirumira’s murder.
Both Mr Emillian Kayima, the Police spokesperson and Brig Richard Karemeire, the army spokesman, did not answer our repeated phone calls when contacted for a comment.