Consumed by fear and trauma of what they went through, almost all of them were unwilling to freely tell people and journalists who flocked to their homes on Tuesday morning to stare at them and listen to their stories.
On Monday night, the18
people who were abducted from Kisamula
village in Kasaali town council, Kyotera District on January 8th
2020 returned home. Like recent abductees who returned home, they were
dropped kilometers to Kyotera town—where they were had been picked.
Consumed by fear and
trauma of what they went through, almost all of them were unwilling to freely
tell people and journalists who flocked to their homes on Tuesday morning to
stare at them and listen to their stories.
It was Lukyamuzi Kiwanuka
Yuda who agreed to tell a bit of the story how he was arrested. On the day
they were arrested, he was at home sleeping when he suddenly heard people knocking
on his door. He refused to open. They broke the door. They were many soldiers.
They started beating
him immediately. Kiwanuka was number six to be arrested, he says. When he was
hurled into the drone, he was hooded. Since that day, he can’t tell where he
was taken. What he suspects is that the cars drove towards Kampala.
Kiwanuka says they were
beaten from Kyotera up to the house where they were being detained. He suspects
that the house is in Kampala. Kiwanuka also says he was being accused that he is
a terrorist. Soldiers asked him to avail names of terrorists he was training.
//Cue in: “zari sawa
Cue out:…nokutusa obude
Kiwanuka says when they
reached the house where they were imprisoned, they were not beaten again,
except those who attempted to misbehave such as trying to pull off the hood. In
this house, they were handcuffed with nylon lopes and hooded day and night.
When it was time for
eating or drinking porridge, the the hood would be pulled just above the nose. Then
a plate of food or cup of porridge would be placed in a detainee’s hands. After eating,
the head was entirely hooded again.
They were also
showering, Kiwanuka says. For those who wanted to bathe, he says they would be
escorted to a small bathroom. They would only be allowed to remove the hood
after entering and the door is locked. After showering, they would be required
to put on their hood and knock on the door and be taken back to where they had
//Cue in: “seventy five
Cue out:…seeing any
They would also
occasionally wash. And when it was time for washing, Kiwanuka says they would undress.
The clothes would be collected by soldiers. Some of the detainees would be
taken to bathroom to wash clothes. The detainees stayed naked until the clothes
were brought back. “When they brought back clothes, they would drop them in the
middle and ask you to find your shirt or trouser when hooded. You would start
touching, touching clothes until you got your shirt or trouser,” he says. Those
who mistakenly put on other detainees’ clothes would be kicked, Kiwanuka says.
Kiwanuka says they left
in the house many more people whose number he cannot guess. It’s was a storied
house and he would hear noise in upper floors. Kiwanuka also says people would
occasionally murmur in the room where he was detained.
An admirer of Robert
Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine of National Unity Platform (NUP), Kiwanuka says he was
not his vocal supporter. He also says he did not participate in the November 18th
Cue in: “twalese yo
The returnees were looking
healthy though with visible scars on arms and for some on the head. Other seemed
to be limping. One of the returnees was immediately taken to the hospital for
medication. This reporter was told the hospitalized returnees was “not in good