“Yeah, because when the Minister gave his account, I was civilised enough and I tried to listen. I hope these ministers will at least pretend that they are civilised and listen. Dr Besigye was brutally hurled into a pick-up, beaten, slapped, tear-gassed under captivity and kicked by Arinaitwe the assassin, the commandos and the mambas, under the command of Grace Turyagumanawe. The journey from Mulago roundabout to Kasangati took about ten minutes or slightly more. Six people were knocked by the van between Kasangati and Mulago roundabout. The police need to account since the van that was following picked up all the people who were knocked on the way. We want to know whether they died or they are still alive. The van on which suspects were transported was a torture chamber. In that police van were six men in civilian clothes, putting on dark glasses and with their driver, each one of them had two pistols and they had SMGs in the car. They brutalised the suspects all the way to Kasangati, cracking the skull of one of Dr Besigye’s assistants. The torture men in the police van also smoked “bhangi”. We demand that the police disclose who these people are. Dr Besigye was dropped off the police pick-up, as you may all have seen in the documentary. He lay in Kasangati Police Station. For 50 minutes, Dr Besigye was unconscious and nobody was allowed to see him. The Members of Parliament who rushed to Kasangati were not allowed in. One hour later, panicking and thinking that Dr Besigye was dead, they called in his assistant, Sam Mugumya, who was also locked up in a police cell, to check on him. They told him, can you check if he is still alive. And Mugumya checked and told them he was breathing. That is when they called in Dr Olive Kobusingye. Over an hour later! Yesterday, the Minister said I was allowed to go in. I went in two hours later. Since the Minister in his statement has decided to keep quiet about the people who were involved in this operation, it is my cardinal duty to tell you that the one who commanded this operation, Mr Grace Turyagumanawe, joined the police of Uganda in 1981. He was dropped from his position on 2 May 2001 by the then IGP. Barely a month later, he was reinstated” – Alice Alaso (Hansard of 04.05.2011)
Time is a wasting. The ones that are shocked by how Members of Parliament is treated. No one should be. The Uganda Police Force and the Authorities has manhandled and used vicious force against dissidents for years. They have had several of different units used to torment, torture and apprehend civilians who stands up against the dictatorship.
Therefore, the brutality and the state sponsored violence of April 2023 isn’t new. I’m just publishing the Hansard statement of Hon. Alice Alaso, who spoke out against the attack on Besigye and others on the 28th April 2011. The ordeal was on tape and has been online ever since. The man who tormented Besigye have been well known for long, but is still part of the UPF. Just last year he was promoted again and gotten a title, which is either making him a department commander or a police officer who runs a police post. Therefore, he has gone through the ranks in the decade after the violent incident he partook in.
Just to prove how badly the state handled this. Beatrice Anywar asked this question in the same plenary session:
“Another thing that I want the Minister to explain is, when Dr Kiiza Besigye was supposed to be flown out for medication, there was a problem at the airport. They blocked him from being flown out of this country to seek medical attention. I personally made all efforts to even ring my good brother, the Minister of Security, hon. Amama Mbabazi. I made efforts to ring my brother, the state minister himself, desperately looking to somebody to come up and give reason as to why he should be blocked when he is in that sorry state. I would like the Minister to help us explain the reason why somebody who was in the state of Dr Kiiza Besigye, who needed emergency medical attention, should be blocked from accessing his doctors in Nairobi. I also want the Minister to explain the circumstances under which one can access the assistance offered by the Government. I saw and read when His Excellency, the President, was now saying his Government is going to assist the victims of the riots. In what form is this? Are Dr Kiiza Besigye’s bills and his damaged vehicle among those you have arranged for because he is also a victim of the riots? I want this clarification” (Beatrice Anywar, 04.05.2011).
So, it wasn’t enough to treat him violence on the streets. Later when he needed help and sought to get it in Nairobi. The Police and the authorities blocked him access to leave the Republic. They just show their sinister side when it comes to Dr. Kizza Besigye.
That’s why this story needs to be retold. Because the state is repeating these sins. They are not doing to Besigye right now. However, they are doing similar acts to other high-ranking officials or opposition leaders. They are targeting others with similar means. The state has gotten accustomed and gotten used to doing so.
Besigye deserved better. No one should have gotten this treatment. Just like the MPs, Activists or other opposition members should fear for the authorities. However, we know the drones, the arbitrary arrests and the kidnappings are happening to this day. The “safe-houses” are used, and civilians are captured because of their political affiliation. Therefore, we know the acts are happening as we speak. That’s what the Police and Security Organizations are up too. Peace.