Torture, disappearances, murder; Uganda’s elections getting bloody

 

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By Samuel Ouga

A body of a dead man, said to be of Christopher Aine, with a slit throat and bloodied wounds has emerged. The family claims the dead body is of their son; Christopher Aine. Aine was the head of the presidential candidate; former Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi’s security team.
On January 1st, Uganda’s Inspector General of Police Gen Kale Kayihura has placed a Shs 20m reward to information unraveling the whereabouts of Presidential Candidate Hon Amama Mbabazi’s head of Security team, Mr Christopher Aine. Police denied arresting Christopher Aine and said they do not know his whereabouts.

Amama Mbabazi’s lawyers, on January 5, presented an application in Ntungamo court seeking court orders compelling the state to produce Christopher Aine, the head of Go Forward security detail.

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Body said to be of Christopher Aine

Aine has been missing since the violence and fighting between Mbabazi and NRM supporters in Ntungamo district on December 17th. One of Amama Mbabazi’s Lawyers; Severino Twinobusingye says they have evidence that police arrested and detained Aine.

On December 17, 2015, Amama Mbabazi’s campaign team’s communications director Mrs Josephine Myanja Nkanji announced that Aine was picked up by armed men in Kyanja and taken to an unknown destination.

In his new year’s message, Uganda’s police chief; Gen Kayihura stated that Mr Aine was not in custody and added that he is being hunted by police in connection to the violence in Ntungamo district where he allegedly lead an assault on supporters of President Museveni.
“He is not apprehended; he is still on the run or in hiding,” said Kayihura.

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In September 2015, Aine was arrested in detained for days, for allegedly beating up police officers in Jinja town who were providing security at Mbabazi’s rally.

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He was charged and released on court bail, which was however canceled following the Ntungamo incidents and court summons issued for him to reappear in court.

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Some reports indicate that the brutalized body was among those discovered floating along some beaches in Kampala and Entebbe after the xmas festive season. Dead bodies were discovered floating along the shores of Lake Victoria during the Christmas season.

The police has released a statement regarding stories and pictures reporting Aine’s death. Part of the statement reads;

“…The Police are actively investigating a photograph that was published on the front page of the Red Pepper Newspaper, today, Thursday, 7th January, 2016, with a caption “AINE ‘BODY’ EMERGES”, where it went to add “Missing Mbabazi aide look alike corpse pops up in mortuary”. The dangerous story has gained much attention and created media frenzy, after a “questionable composite image” was run against a genuine photograph.

We want to put it clear, that the origin of the photograph and the circumstances under which it was taken are unclear and unknown, which gives no factual basis or evidential value to the story.

However, due to the fact that the Red Pepper Newspaper and selected social media sites have used the photograph to back up their stories, it calls for an investigation, to help establish who posted the pictures, how they obtained the photos, to enable us validate their version of events.

This will help us determine whether the story is a manipulated and atrocious falsehood or a conspiracy forum to smear and discredit the Police.

Meanwhile, the story gave an opportunity to the immediate family members to visit the City Mortuary, and view for possible identification, all bodies at the mortuary in the presence of Senior Pathologists from the Ministry of Health and the Police Health Services. No body or look alike to Aine Christopher was found…

The police spokesperson; Fred Enanga added that police still believe Aine Christopher is alive and in hiding.

We are continuing to investigate his case as that of a missing person, who is also wanted by Police. Our Police notice therefore, is still valid and in we also in addition expect the Chief Magistrates Court, at Jinja, to issue a warrant of arrest of him, following his failure to appear before court yesterday, Wednesday, 6th January, 2016,” Uganda Police’s

Press and Public Relations Officer; CP Fred Enanga added.

Meanwhile, presidential candidate earlier released statement claiming persecution, disappearances and killings of his supporters.

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The statement reads;

“Good Afternoon,

This is to inform Ugandans, both at home and abroad, that an offensive is presently being waged against my supporters, as well as those who volunteer their time to work as coordinators and/or mobilisers for my campaign. In the last month alone, dozens who identify with the Go Forward campaign in one way or another, have been assaulted, arrested, “disappeared” and even killed.

The killings and the imprisonments (which are both illegal and absurd) are not new, having begun the day I announced my intentions to run for president. But as the pressure of the campaigns is mounting, so are the continual attempts to intimidate and subdue my support base.

In late November 2015, Daniel Ayugi of Abim was picked up by security operatives at Uganda House. He was blindfolded, driven to an unknown location and tortured for a number of days. He was later on dumped back at Uganda House and made his way to Central Police Station for help. He required surgery to recover from his injuries.

In Lira district, one of our supporters Mr. Okello, whose story was covered by the media, was harassed and similarly assaulted. He suffered serious body injuries.

In Bukedea district, there are the two cases of Mr. James Aogon and Mr. Okwii Isaac. Mr. Aogon was severely beaten up and then dragged along the tarmac road, resulting in the loss of skin on his face. Mr. Okwii’s house was burned down whilst his four-year-old son slept. The toddler died in that fire.

Ms Tumwebaze, our supporter, was murdered in Mbarara and her body dumped in the river.

In mid-December, the police rounded up and arrested a number of my supporters whom, they purport, had engaged in an overwhelming assault of innocent NRM supporters in Ntungamo. This is, of course, entirely false. Any of my supporters who were part of the Ntungamo incident engaged solely in acts of self-defence.

They are now facing trumped up charges in court. Shortly after this incident, the head of my security detail Christopher Aine disappeared. He is yet to be found. Yesterday, our lawyers successfully lodged a habeas corpus order with the High Court of Uganda for Aine. We will find him.

This past Monday, on the eve of my visit to Kotido, four Kadodi drummers who were mobilising for me, were arrested and imprisoned by police together with the drums they were using to mobilise for my planned public rally. By the time I finished my rally they were still in this illegal detention. The pickup truck with the public address system I was to use at the rally was, together with the PA, impounded. They were still in police custody by the time I left Kotido.

These incidents are but a few examples of the violence this government is daily meting out on those who believe the time has come for Uganda to experience peaceful transition and a change of government. This belief has been portrayed by the state as a desire to create chaos and instability within Uganda.

Let me be clear: TDA(U)/Go Forward has neither plans of using violence as a means of attaining electoral victory nor of getting into power in order to dispense violence against Ugandan citizens. Those who might suggest otherwise are merely those who have reached the end of their rope.

Let me also state that these cruel acts tantamount to gross human rights abuse. We have documented them and will pursue redress through courts of law up to the highest level. Those perpetuating these crimes need to remember that these are your brothers and sisters. After the elections, you all have to face and live with each other.

As we approach the last 40 days of this campaign, the tempo is growing and the people are becoming more decisive. The tensions may rise, but I appeal to those in authority to exercise fairness, restraint and better judgement for the sake of our children, our neighbours and our country, Uganda. This is what we deserve as a nation- peaceful transition of power…”

Concluded presidenatial candidate Amama Mbabazi

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