The leader of the National Unity Platform (NUP) Robert Kyagulanyi alias Bobi Wine has challenged Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces (UPDF) to produce the CCTV footage of Eric Mwesigwa’s abduction.
Kyagulanyi claimed that UPDF is now in a panic mood for fear of sanctions and prosecution, wondering how they could abduct their supporters.
Mwesigwa, a man who recently claimed he was tortured by security officers during detention yesterday backtracked on his claims, saying the injuries were self-inflicted for the promise of Shs 50 million by some leaders of NUP.
Mwesigwa, who at the time showed horrific burns on his chest, is reported to have filed a complaint to Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC) saying he was abducted by armed security personnel and gravely tortured.
He also reportedly made a report at Kabalagala Police and stated that since he returned from the torture chambers, unknown people had been following him.
But while speaking to the media on Wednesday, UPDF spokesperson Brig. General Felix Kulayigye said that NUP has been using social media to blackmail and demonise the government over false allegations of torture by security agencies.
“These elements have embarked on a deliberate campaign to malign the government and attempted to isolate it at regional and international fora, as well as among the development partners using the usual rhetoric of human rights abuses and socio-economic challenges,” he said.
He claimed that NUP has overtime made it a norm to parade people with bodily defects occasioned by normal accidents to masquerade as victims of torture inflicted on them by security personnel.
However, Kyagulanyi dismissed the allegations as amateur concoctions by the UPDF to spin the unfortunate torture of a citizen which he claimed confirms that the torture meted out on Mwesigwa and others like him is sanctioned by the force and other security agencies.
“I am sure nobody in Uganda can fall for this nonsense. They know so well how Museveni’s regime of blood came through violence and deception, and continues to hold onto power using the same tools,” he said in a statement.
Kyagulanyi asked Ugandans to look at the past records of UPDF, saying that when Yasin Kawuma, his driver who was shot dead in Arua, the force claimed that the murder was carried out by them, an allegation which was not true. To date Kyagulanyi noted that no one has ever been arrested or prosecuted in this regard.
“The country is also aware of the contradictory statements that former President of NUP Mzee Moses Kibalama made in court after meeting the Chief of Defense Forces. Recently when they abducted and raped comrade Marinos, they quickly called a press conference and downplayed the heinous crimes. They did the same for novelist Kakwenza Rukirabashaija among others,” he claimed.
“There are some comrades who they tried to conscript into these kinds of games after torturing them, and when they refused, they threatened to kill them. Many of them are in exile,” he said.