The minister of security Gen. Elly Tumwine has been tasked to explain why unknown assailants who have been abducting Ugandans are still lousing on the streets of Kampala instead of being in jail. The minister is currently being grilled by members of the Human Rights committee of Parliament.
The issue came up during a committee meeting that saw Gen. Tumwiine who showed up alone, being grilled by angry legislators.
Kyadondo East Member of Parliament Hon. Robert Kyagulanyi alias Bobi Wine told the committee chaired by Hon. Jova Kamateeka that the minister had failed to explain the issue of illegal safe houses where Ugandans are abducted and kept.
“Who runs the safe houses that are being used to torture Ugandans?” Hon. Kyagulanyi wondered.
He added that several Ugandans including journalist Kabuleta Joseph and Bobi Wine’s aide Eddy Mutwe were abducted, taken to these “safe houses” but later showed up at police stations with no explanation.
Kyagulanyi adds that while the duo was lucky to show up alive after pressure from their families, friends and opposition activists, the late Maria Nagirinya was killed. He argues that Nagirinya was abducted in the same manner as Kabuleta and Edyy Mutwe, by men in plain clothes.
However, the minister explained that there are many safe houses in Uganda, as there is in other countries. He insists there are no known torture houses.
“If I want information from Hon. Zaake, I would not take him to a football field, I have to take him to a secure place” he said. The minister stated that for one to be a freedom fighter, they must be human rights activists.
“We went to the bush to fight for human rights. I cannot lie to you that we do not have them, we have safe houses, but specific issues of intelligence. We have no torture houses” Gen. Tumwiine said.
He called upon the legislators to report any cases of people being tortured. “If you know anyone that is being tortured, please report and we shall suspend such people. We have suspended Corporal Opoka William and Corporal Tusingwire Patrick” he noted.
The duo is suspected to have been part of a group that abducted a lawyer Patrick Mugisha from his offices in Kabalagala and illegally kept him from his family for close to a week. Upon release, Mugisha explained that he had been kept in a safe house located in Kyengera.
Hon. Latiff Ssebagala wondered why these safe houses do not help people like Hon. Evelyn Anite who is crying for help. Gen. Tumwine promised to follow up with the committee and the Human rights commission for more information.