Museveni's figurehead Army chief, Gen. Katumba Wamala has once again duped Ugandans by claiming to have ordered an investigation into the gruesome torture of Cpl. Ssebyala by his superiors. Though over the years the army's excesses against civilians has been highlighted, gross human rights abuses against its own personnel has silently thrived.
The men and women in uniform live under fear, intimidation, injustice, mental and psychological torture all in the name of discipline. The army court martial is Museveni's tool of terrorising security personnel and that’s why he has always advocated for civilians to be tried by military court martials. These courts are nothing but a Museveni took of suppressing and subduing soldiers into submission. It for the same reasons that he fears to retire the likes of Gen. Ssejusa whom he feels can only be tamed by the monster court martial.
In June 2015 while serving in Somalia under AMISOM, Cpl. Ssebyala was accused of having sold Anti-Aircraft ammunitions to the Somali insurgents at US$ 1000. He was gruesomely tortured before being incarcerated at the notorious Makindye Barracks in Kampala. Medical records confirm loss of manhood as a result of physical torture. In August 2016, he sought the intervention of the High Court and in response the army court martial as usual charged him with fresh charges of 'offences related to security'.
It was only until The Daily Monitor ran the story of Cpl. Ssebyala's torture that Gen. Katumba came out to issue empty promises of investigating the matter. As a practice, the army does not like such injustices to get to the public thus it always gets tough on individual soldiers who do so.
Selling of war materials by soldiers under AMISOM to Somalia insurgents has been a practice. In April 2013 Maj. Frank Kiwero and Capt. Hassan Watumba were arrested over knowingly training Somalia insurgents at the AMISOM training facility at Aljazera in Mogadishu. The two were detained without trial at Makindye barracks in Kampala.
In July 2014 top regime cadres from Kibuku district petitioned Museveni to release the two army officers in return for their support for his (Museveni) sole candidature. In December 2014 Museveni directed the GCM to set free the two and they were indeed released.
Though by law serving soldiers are exempted from taking active roles in partisan politics, Maj. Kiweru had been an active regime mobilizer in Kibuku and Palisa region in general. Since his release, the Major has been an active police mobiliser in that region. However, in Somalia more soldiers were accused of selling war materials to insurgent before the Uganda contingent suffered a major attack from the insurgents that left a big number of 'Acholis' killed.
Just last week, Lt. Mware of Military Police petitioned the Uganda Human Rights Commission over physical torture by his juniors on the orders of his Superiors. The incident took place in February 2015 at the Luzira Prison detachment where he had been deployed before being incarcerated at Makindye barracks. He is now walking with the help of clutches. He is suing the Attorney General and the Commanding Officer of the Military Police, Col. Kanyesigye.
Around the same time, Capt. Trevor Kibuuka of CMI's Special Investigations Bureau (SIB) went to the High Court seeking an order for his release from the notorious Nalufenya dungeons. On 28th November
2015 he was arrested from Central Police Station (CPS) in Kampala when he had gone to follow up on investigations involving illegal sale of arms. He has since then been incarcerated at Nalufenya. The matter of sale of arms and hiring them out to robbers is a sensitive issue because it is a privilege of a few highly connected individuals in the security forces and it accounts for the insecurity in the country.
It is a common practice for individual intelligence officers to carry out investigations into armed robberies for personal gain and in that process they clash with their colleagues. Capt. Kibuuka must have been of such mission and now that he has gone to the High Court and the press, his military career ruined and is set for a long ordeal of misery.
In 2014 Capt. J. B. Lutwama who was facing charges of treason in the infamous 'Kabamba Attack’ was tortured to death by crushing his testicles at Makindye Barracks. In the mid 1990s, Col. Samson Mande who is now exiled in Sweden was physically and mentally tortured at Makindye barracks.
Leave alone the physical torture meted out on Gen. Moses Ali and Col. Ahmed Kashillingi in the late 1980s and 1990s respectively while in detention at Lubiri barracks by Gen. James Kaziini. What about Pte Muhindo who was gruesomely tortured by Museveni's son Gen. Muhoozi just because while driving his (Muhoozi) wife in the potholes, she had bumped he head on the car bonnet and developed headache. The list is endless.
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