Inside DRC

Documentary: The forgotten story of Sam Mugumya



Sam Mugumya, a former aide to FDC presidential flag bearer, Kizza Besigye, is still being held at Ndolo military prison in DR Congo.

FDC youth activist, Moses Byamugyisha, says one of their top leaders has visited Mugumya saying he was doing fine.

Owen Kibenge, a Ugandan journalist based in Washington district of Columbia in the US, shot a documentary of Mugumya’s life and struggle as an activist.

Kibenge says before FDC restores the rights of 36 million Ugandans in 2016, let them start with Mugumya and his three friends jailed illegally in Kinshasa the capital of the DRC for over 11 months now.

“One of our friends is sick,” Kibenge recalls Mugumya telling him in a telephone conversation recently from the notorious Ndolo Military Prison.

“He needed blood and we had to pay $80 to get two pints but we have since only got one.”


FDC youth activist demanding Mugumya’s release

“Sam Mugumya, 34, whom I have been filming in a soon to be completed documentary (see video below for interviews with Mugumya) is the last born in a family of five, he was raised in the copper mining town of Kilembe in Kasese,” Kibenge notes.

This is Kibenge’s prelude to Mugumya’s documentary

Kiiza Besigye, former patron of the Makerere University Rukungiri Students Association whetted Mugumya’s appetite for politics.

Marching through bellowing clouds of teargas and bullet swept streets, Mugumya has been by the side of Uganda’s leading opposition figure since 2000.

Today he sits in a packed prison cell thousands of miles from home probably wondering if it has been worth it.

In a race against time, Mugumya is using prison guards, thugs and con men to search for a pint of clean blood from Kinshasa, which reveals the level of desperation these young men have reached.

The dispensary in the prison was described to me as “basic” by Professor Kayembe, former dean of the Kinshasa School of Public Health, it only transports ‘high value’ prisoners under armed guard to the Kinshasa General Hospital and neither Mugumya nor his friends fits this description.

Mugumya’s short documentary:

The clinics overworked and underpaid staff is responsible for a teeming prison population where epidemics erupt at a moment’s notice.

“The doctor says he suspects it could be hepatitis but he needs $100 to do a proper examination and currently we don’t have that money,” Mugumya said.

The urgency in Mugumya’s voice betrayed a sad reality: Kamugisha Joseph is going to die if he does not get emergency treatment and I will hasten to add FDC will have blood on their hands.

With luminaries like Winnie Byanyima, Garuga Musinguzi, Nandala Mafabi, Munini Mulera, Ibrahim Nganda, Wafula Oguttu, Abdu Katuntu, Salaam Musumba, MugishaMuntu, Ingrid Turinawe and 35 % of the Ugandan electorate that perennially votes Besigye for president, none of the above whether collectively or individually has lifted a finger in support of Mugumya and his friends.

This task has been left to Ednansi Turyomurugendo the 68-year-old widow and subsistence farmer from Nyakagyeme village in Rukungiri district who is expected to sell off her bananas and beans and retain top international human rights lawyers to argue her son’s case in court.


Kibenge shot the documentary

I was not fooled by the recent presidential debate between Besigye and Muntu and neither should you.

The way FDC has handled the Mugumya case proves that it is not competent enough to run a government.

The party has failed to exercise the little power they have (biggest opposition party in parliament) how then should we expect them to use all the levers of power that come with winning the presidency unless it is for their personal gain?

They have failed the test.

We might be better off with the devils we know (NRM) than the angels we have never seen (FDC).

Who is Owen Kibenge?

Kibenge has worked as an editorial Assistant, Thomson Reuters, New York and Radio Consultant, Earth Institute Columbia University, New York.

Before going to US, he worked as a News Anchor at Wavah Broadcasting Service, Uganda (WBS TV) up to September 2008.

He also worked as a Project Manager, Small Enterprise Media in Africa, Uganda, Correspondent/Producer/News anchor, Uganda Television, Uganda and Radio producer and anchor, Central Broadcasting Service, Uganda (CBS radio).

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