The Mityana Municipality Member of Parliament, Francis Butebi Zaake says he can clearly remember and identify security operatives who attacked and tortured him during campaigns on August 13th ahead of the Arua Municipality by election.
Zaake shares that besides the faces, he can also vividly remember some of the name tags of the officers. He claims that they donned Special Forces Command (SFC) uniform and where communicating in Runyankole and Swahili.
The legislator who recently returned from India where he had gone for specialized treatment made the remarks on Monday while addressing a press conference at his home in Nalumunye in Wakiso District where he shared his ordeal on what happened to him in Arua.
Although most of the victims of the Arua fracas have shared their story, little or nothing about Zaake’s experience had been shared. The legislator went missing and later showed up unconscious at Lubaga Hospital with injuries on his fingers, ears and other parts of the body.
Zaake had been hospitalised at Lubaga Hospital since August 15th 2018 two days after he was arrested from Arua District together with 33 others who included Members of Parliament and supporters of Arua Municipality MP, Kasiano Wadri.
All of them apart from him, have since appeared before Gulu Chief Magistrate Francis Dawa Matenga. It is alleged that they commanded a team of youths that obstructed the president’s motorcade and pelted stones that smashed the windscreen of one of the vehicles in the convoy.
However, Zaake has at last all shared his ordeal saying that on a day before the incident, he was in Mityana meeting the Local Council Chairpersons. Being that his drivers were not around, he called Kyadondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi alias Bobi Wine to send him a driver and that’s how Yasin Kawuuma, one of Kyagulanyi’s driver who was later gunned ended up in Arua.
Zaake, who claims that after the rally they never met with the president’s convoy. He says that after the rally he personally went back to the hotel were they had booked. He narrates that shortly after his arrival, he had voices that drew nearer and stronger yelling that Kawuuma had been gunned down which prompted him to leave the room to witness what had happened.
He adds that before he came closer to the scene, a multitude of gun wielding security operatives swarmed in causing his retreat from the place.
Zaake claims that while inside the room, operatives tied his hands behind and started piecing various parts of his body using gun bayonets, squeezed his testicles among other awful acts.
He says that on his return from India, security officers who transported him to his home kept on telling and pleading with him not to narrate anything which happened in Arua so that all cases opened against him are dropped.
According to reports, Zaake was dumped at Arua Police Station where other politicians who were in support of Kassiano Wadri had been detained. The politicians including Jjinja Municipality MP Paul Mwiru, Kassiano Wadri among others pleaded to police officers to take him to the hospital.
Days after president Yoweri Kaguta Museveni issued a statement through his social media pages indicating that Zaake had alluded from police custody by this time the latter had been admitted at Lubaga Hospital where he was dropped by individuals believed to be security operatives. Zaake challenges police and government at large to produce an admission form for the hospital they allege that he escaped from.
Zaake says despite all the ‘torturing’ and other inhumane treatment at Kiruddu Hospital and Entebbe Airport before he went to India, he is currently feeling better and getting stronger. He adds that him and other comrades in the struggle are not yet to give up until they have unseated Museveni.
He adds that in the meantime, a number of government officials have been threatening and trying to bribe his father and wife to entice him out of the struggle. He however says that his legal team is ready to take on a number of cases against individuals who tortured him plus the doctors who insisted to treat him out of his will while at Kiruddu Hospital.
Assuman Basalirwa, Bugiri Municipality MP who also doubles as Zaake’s lawyer has also quashed media reports which were alleging that the legislator had been summoned by police at CID.
“We don’t have any reason of evading any judicial process but we have not received any summons as alleged in some media. when they summon us we will be available,” says Basalirwa.