City businessman Frank Gashumba has narrated the circumstances under which he was arrested and treated for the seven days he has spent in detention since his arrest.
Gashumba, also Franco Malingumu Gashumba according to the court charge sheet, was arrested together with his brother Innocent Kasumba also a businessman and Ismail Kiyingi,a tour and travel guide officer at M.J Safaris, before being charged for impersonation, forgery and unlawful possession of drugs by Buganda Road Chief Magistrates court on Monday afternoon.
Through his lawyers led by Isaac Ssemakadde of the Legal Brain Trust, Gashumba told court presided over by James Mawanda Eremye that he was treated inhumanely by security operatives during the arrest last week.
“The accused were abducted from their respective homes and arrested in an unconstitutional manner before being detained for over ten days now,” Ssemakadde told court.
Addressing journalists at the Ministry of Defence headquarters in Mbuya last week, UPDF Deputy spokesperson Lt.Col.Deo Akiiki told journalists that after the arrest of his brother, Gashumba showed up together with his lawyer at CMI headquarters in Mbuya before he was arrested.
“As luck would have it, on the 29 Oct 17 Gashumba Frank also turned up at CMI with his lawyer friend one Nsamba Geoffrey to follow up his brother and was arrested,” Lt.Col. Deo Akiiki told journalists.
However, the statement by Gashumba’s lawyers on his arrest contradicted with the one of the army. The army deputy spokesperson confirmed that Gashumba had been arrested by the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence but was quick to say that the suspects were being detained at the Special Investigations Unit headquarters in Kireka,a facility run by police.
He told journalists that the suspects were only taken to CMI headquarters in Mbuya for interrogation before being returned to Kireka for detention.
The lawyers however told court on Monday that after being arrested, the group were moved to various ‘ungazetted’ detention centres around the city by security operatives. Ssemakadde was however interrupted by the chief Magistrate who told him he was not ready to entertain his statements at that time before asking him to reserve them for another day.
“We shall not go into those submissions which may not be an issue today,”Eremye Mawanda told the lawyer.
Speaking to journalists shortly after the court session, another lawyer, Dennis Nyombi said they have not yet got enough time to discuss in details the manner in which their clients had been treated but warned they would take action after being briefed. “We shall look into it and get a way forward but this simply tells you that there are many people in non-gazetted detention centres around the country,”Nyombi told journalists.
Earlier, Buganda Road Chief Magistrate James Eremye Mawanda had only preferred to read the suspects charges and could not allow them take plea. Plea taking is when a suspect is asked whether he denies or accepts the charge against them.
Mawanda told the trio that since there was no prosecutor in court due to the ongoing strike, they would take plea at a later date. Buganda Road Chief Magistrates court adjourned the case to November 20.