Opinion: A regime needing “safe houses” is a sign of brazen oppression of its citizens
“Madam speaker I wish to mention that a safe house is a secure place used for intelligence work, all intelligence and security agencies world over operate safe houses,running a safe house is not peculiar to Uganda but it’s a worldwide intelligence practice” security minister Gen. Elly Tumwine (August 21. 2019).
That there is reports and statements made during this week from Hon. Francis Zaake and Betty Nambooze, whose both have stated their evidence of the usage of Safe Houses. This has been known for a long while. There is several of these houses and used by the Internal Security Organization (ISO). Hotel Serena used to be a sort of house back-in-the-day, but has rebuilt to other use.
That the Nalufenya was closed earlier in the year, there is still other building used for the same ways. To torture, hide victims and supposed spies. That the state takes away in silence, abducts without warrants and usage of even soldiers to take away activists, political opponents and whatnot.
All of this isn’t new in the Republic. That National Resistance Movement (NRM) have continued the practices of previous administration. The NRM have been brazen and its been known that dissidents has been tortured and arrested for long time. This been done by the Flying Squad, CMI or even ISO. All of them has picked up people and kept them in “safe houses” without court orders to keep them detained.
Therefore, don’t be shocked when Zaake MP says he knows about 900 people, whose arrested and tortured at this moment at the safe houses. Surely, the NRM will not verify this. Because, they don’t want this to be a thing. They want to show the Northern By-Pass, that they used over a decade to finish, maybe more.
Let’s be clear, we don’t have all the information. Because, this is in the dark, grey-area, which is kept a secret. The state doesn’t want the news out. They don’t want to show the darkness, the only thing we know is the stories from a few victims. Since, there is no Parliamentary Report like on Nalufenya, which we got just days before closure of it. Then, it was shown the systemic violations of human rights and cruel behaviour of the state towards their own citizens.
We cannot know how big of deal this is, because the numbers, the lack of leaked reports and the proof is not there. But when the likes of Gen. Tumwiine verifies it. Shows there is an intention of open violence against the citizens of the Republic.
If these people picked up by ISO, CMI and other security organization from the state, they should have warrants and prove the criminal intent of the suspects. Not just abduct them and detain them in random “safe houses” unless the state wants to keep their activities as a secret. Because, if they were sincere … then the state would prosecute them like everyone else. Innocent until proven guilty of a crime.
Alas, that is not the case, because the state uses this to intimidate and oppress the citizens. Peace.