More inmates cry out over torture at Kakumiro prison

Thursday May 17 2018

More inmates cry out over torture at Kakumiro prison

Wasswa, whose leg was amputated after torture, at Mulago Hospital last week. PHOTO BY MICHAEL KAKUMIRIZI 


More inmates at Kyabisenge Government Prison in Kakumiro Town Council, Kakumiro District, have come out to accuse warders of inflicting torture on them.
Last week, this newspaper reported the story of Aloysius Wasswa, 21, whose leg was amputated at Upper Mulago hospital after being tortured while on remand at the prison.
And now this newspaper has learnt that more male inmates have been secretly admitted to Kakumiro Health Centre IV in critical condition after allegedly being tortured.

Daily Monitor visited the male ward at the health centre and found the inmates with wounds on legs, arms and other parts of the body.
A bad smell emanated from the ward where the inmates are admitted with their arms handcuffed on beds because of the septic wounds which had seemingly taken long time without being treated.
One of the inmates, Geoffrey Tumwebaze, 20, whose legs were bandaged, alleged that he was tortured by prison warders on orders of Mr Fednand Beka, the officer-in-charge of the facility.

“Very many prisoners, including me, have been undergoing torture by beating every morning. I was beaten and my ankles got broken. They never provided medication until the situation worsened and they brought us here at the health centre,” he said.
Others who also narrated the torture ordeal were Alex Hangana, 35, Willy Kiwanuka, 48, and Vincent Serugo, 24.
Mr Moses Twinomuhwezi, Hangana’s relative, told Daily Monitor how he found the victims in appalling health conditions.

“I went there and found them in bad conditions. The inmate told me that he was beaten by the officer-in-charge of the prison for masterminding an escape plan….I tried to ask the prisons officer why my person was tortured to this level but he just told me that he will transfer the inmate to Kampala for further medical assistance,” Mr Twinomuhwezi said.
A medical officer, who attended to the victims and chose to remain anonymous, said the victims had septic torture wounds.
“These people had wounds in bad condition and we have tried to give them necessary treatment to avoid further body damages. What we do not know is how they got the wounds from the prison,” the medical officer said.
When contacted, Mr Beka, the officer-in-charge of the prison, dismissed the torture claims.

He said the victims were beaten up by residents as they were attempting to escape from the prison garden during work.
However, a resident, whose home is about 300 metres from the prison told Daily Monitor on condition of anonymity that he normally hears prisoners calling for help at night.
“The prisoners were not tortured by the villagers. We always hear a lot of noise as prisoners cry. My request is that he (Beka) should be taken to court to answer charges of torturing inmates,” a resident said.
The Kyabisenge Village chairman, Mr Joseph Kyomya, said he also hears prisoners crying at night from the cells.

“At times I hear prisoners crying at night at around 12 am from the prison and I do not know why. I heard it from the radio when the OC (Officer In charge of prison) was alleging that residents tortured the escaping inmate,’’ Mr Kyomya said.
He adds that the allegations of torture started when Mr Beka was brought to replace Mr John Bosco Obulu nearly two months ago.
When contacted, Mr Frank Baine, the Uganda Prisons Service spokesman, promised to respond to the matter later.