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CROSSFIRE: Bobi Wine Vs Felix Kulayigye on NUP Drones, Torture to Tarnish Museveni Government Image

Bobi Wine and Felix Kulayigye
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The spokesperson of Uganda’s national army, the UPDF, and the leader of the country’s main opposition party have, as expected, offered conflicting views on the issue of the torture of Eric Mwesigwa, an activist of the National Unity Platform (NUP). The following are statements from Brig Felix Kulayigye and Robert Kyagulanyi on Mwesigwa’s torture issue and alleged NUP drones in a crossfire in which state security and political opposition exchange blame: 

FELIX KULAYIGYE ON ERIC MWESIGWA

For a while, Security Forces have noted persistent attempts by some political opposition groups in Uganda to blackmail and demonize 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. 

These evil schemes continue to be propagated through the mainstream and social media platforms and agitations for civil disobedience including the so-called ‘Kunga and Tulumbe Campaigns.’ These groups particularly the National Unity Platform (NUP) have 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.

Recently, on 13 Feb 23, one Mwesigwa Eric was paraded before the media by NUP president Robert Kyagulanyi at NUP offices in Kamwokya, Kampala claiming that he was tortured and burnt on his chest using a flat iron by security operatives.

However, contrary to the torture narrative by NUP, it has since been established that Mwesigwa Eric was lured into a deal by NUP and the wounds were inflicted on him by the same group after promising him monetary gains treatment with a sole purpose of maligning the Government.  Unfortunately, NUP abandoned him with his wounds without treatment and pay. 

The Government is providing medical and psycho-socio support to Mwesigwa for full recovery. This follows other similar schemes by NUP to blackmail and isolate Government both locally and internationally. 

On 17 Nov 22, over 100 NUP elements were paraded as “torture victims” at the Uganda Human Rights Accountability conference at Ufungamano House in Nairobi, Kenya. It was later established many of the paraded individuals were victims of normal accidents occasioned by Boda-bodas and other incidents.  They included among others Ssebuganda Richard, who lost his hand in a student’s strike at Makerere University in 2020 and Kamuswaga Moses who was injured trying to detonate a tear gas canister in 2012.

We therefore call upon both the local and international media to always resist lending credence to perpetual NUP lies aimed at maligning Government for political gain.  Similarly, the population is encouraged to be mindful of the sustained efforts by negative elements to spread falsehoods and radicalize especially the youth into acts of violence, subversion and civil disobedience, among others.

BOBI WINE FIRES BACK

The shameless, criminal regime at it again! Same old tricks. Same ridiculousness. Mwesigwa Eric has been complaining of being trailed ever since he spoke about his torture. Today, from an army barracks, they parade him to claim it’s NUP that tortured him! What a bunch of thugs!

This same person in his complaint to Uganda Human Rights Commission is on record saying he was abducted by armed security personnel and gravely tortured. He also made a report at Police stating that since he returned from torture chambers, unknown people had been following him.

I wish to state that this is an amateurish attempt by the UPDF to spin the unfortunate torture of a citizen by the army, which confirms that indeed the torture meted out on Mwesigwa and others like him is sanctioned by the UPDF and other security agencies.

I am sure nobody in Uganda can fall for this nonsense. They know so well that Museveni’s regime of blood came through violence and deception, and continues to hold onto power using the same tools. This is their standard behaviour! When Yasin Kawuma was shot dead in Arua, UPDF claimed that our group carried out the murder. To date they have never arrested or prosecuted anybody.

The country is also aware of the contradictory statements that former President of NUP Mzee 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 Kakwenza, Masereka, etc. The examples are endless.

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! We have also noted the empty claims that NUP abducts its own supporters using drones. Fortunately, vigilant Ugandans have always recorded videos of most of these abductions involving armed security men and every time there have been such incidents, majority of the victims have been arraigned in court after pressure from our lawyers and the public. Examples are many — Katto Hussein Gaza, Motiv Kasaga, Bobi Young, Jamushid Kavuma, etc.

Yesterday, they abducted another man right outside Buganda Road Court. Was that NUP in action??? I challenge Kulayije and his conspirators to produce CCTV footage of Mwesigwa’s abduction! We hope the blatant lies by the UPDF spokesperson are motivated by embarrassment, and that moving forward, they will stop abducting and torturing citizens.

They engage in these panicky gimmicks is because they fear sanctions and prosecution, which will certainly come. They would rather torture people, but do everything possible for the world not to know. Too late for them, the evidence of their crimes is available to the whole world.

The verbal clash came after Eric Mwesigwa accused Bobi Wine’s NUP of torturing him with hot metals while promising him a Shs50m reward, provided he pins the Museveni government security agencies of torturing him. (Read Stories Here and There). 

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