NUP coordinator recounts ordeal while in detention

 Left: National Unity Platform mobiliser Samuel Masereka is aided to walk at the party headquarters in Kamokya, Kampala, on January 31, 2022. Right: A close-up of some of the scars and wounds on Mr Masereka’s feet. PHOTOS/ABUBAKER LUBOWA

What you need to know:

  • The party’s Kasese registrar claims he started vomiting blood and lost consciousness while under army detention.

National Unity Platform (NUP) party registrar in Kasese District, Mr Samuel Masereka, has said he was tortured by security operatives at Chieftaincy for Military Intelligence (CMI) in Mbuya, Kampala.
Party leaders yesterday presented a limping Mr Masereka before journalists. 
The latter had wounds and scars all over his body before claiming that the security officers had beaten him and his other detainees.  

“I was arrested on January 7 and they took me to police. They then transferred me to CMI where they started torturing me for 21 days. I started vomiting blood and at some point lost consciousness,” Mr Masereka said, adding that his captors wanted to know what NUP was up to.
In days following Mr Masereka’s reported abduction, the party demanded his unconditional release. 
His case was seen as the latest in line of supporters that have reportedly been held incommunicado following last year’s presidential elections.
Mr Joel Ssenyonyi, the party spokesperson, yesterday said hundreds of their supporters have never been released to date. 

He said others died shortly after they were released due to the torture they experienced.
Mr Masereka said he chose to go public about his situation because “if we continue to keep quiet, more people are going to be tortured.”
The party president, Mr Robert Kyagulanyi, alias Bobi Wine, posted on his social media platform yesterday, saying: “The regime may amuse itself for hurting us in this way, but these are signs that they are on the way out. In the evening of every evil regime, they always resort to widespread torture to silence opponents, but it never saves them.”

Mr Fred Enanga, the police spokesperson, yesterday said the victim should report the matter for investigations to commence.
“That is a matter which can be investigated because we don’t condone any kind of torture on suspects. If they fear to approach the police, they can engage the Human Rights Commission which will engage the IGP (Inspector General of Police) to have the matter followed up so that those found culpable are held responsible,” Mr Enanga said.

Mr Jackson Kafuuzi, the deputy Attorney General, told Daily Monitor  last week that security officers who continue to torture suspects in detention should be solely held accountable for their actions.
“Torturing victims is wrong and against the law. If they are sued and convicted, we shall make sure that they pay off their salaries before they are dismissed. They will have to fill the pinch of the case such that they can learn to follow the law,” Mr Kafuuzi said.