Presidential candidate, Amama Mbabazi, has finally spoken out on the brutalization of his Go Forward campaign and mobilization team.
In a statement, Mbabazi talks about the disappearance of his chief of security, Christopher Aine, who is currently being reported on social media as having been killed.
Mbabazi also talks about the illegal arrests and detentions of his campaigners and supporters across the country.
Here is the full statement:
This is to inform Ugandans, both at home and abroad, that an offensive is presently being waged against my supporters, as well as those who volunteer their time to work as coordinators and/or mobilisers for my campaign.
In the last month alone, dozens who identify with the Go Forward campaign in one way or another, have been assaulted, arrested, “disappeared” and even killed.
The killings and the imprisonments (which are both illegal and absurd) are not new, having begun the day I announced my intentions to run for president.
But as the pressure of the campaigns is mounting, so are the continual attempts to intimidate and subdue my support base.
In late November 2015, Daniel Ayugi of Abim was picked up by security operatives at Uganda House.
He was blindfolded, driven to an unknown location and tortured for a number of days.
He was later on dumped back at Uganda House and made his way to Central Police Station for help. He required surgery to recover from his injuries.
In Lira district, one of our supporters Mr. Okello, whose story was covered by the media, was harassed and similarly assaulted. He suffered serious body injuries.
In Bukedea district, there are the two cases of Mr. James Aogon and Mr. Okwii Isaac.
Mr. Aogon was severely beaten up and then dragged along the tarmac road, resulting in the loss of skin on his face.
Mr. Okwii’s house was burned down whilst his four-year-old son slept. The toddler died in that fire.
Ms Tumwebaze, our supporter, was murdered in Mbarara and her body dumped in the river.
In mid-December, the police rounded up and arrested a number of my supporters whom, they purport, had engaged in an overwhelming assault of innocent NRM supporters in Ntungamo.
This is, of course, entirely false. Any of my supporters who were part of the Ntungamo incident engaged solely in acts of self-defence.
They are now facing trumped up charges in court. Shortly after this incident, the head of my security detail Christopher Aine disappeared.
He is yet to be found. Yesterday, our lawyers successfully lodged a habeas corpus order with the High Court of Uganda for Aine. We will find him.
This past Monday, on the eve of my visit to Kotido, four Kadodi drummers who were mobilising for me, were arrested and imprisoned by police together with the drums they were using to mobilise for my planned public rally.
By the time I finished my rally they were still in this illegal detention.
The pickup truck with the public address system I was to use at the rally was, together with the PA, impounded. They were still in police custody by the time I left Kotido.
These incidents are but a few examples of the violence this government is daily meting out on those who believe the time has come for Uganda to experience peaceful transition and a change of government.
This belief has been portrayed by the state as a desire to create chaos and instability within Uganda.
Let me be clear: TDA(U)/Go Forward has neither plans of using violence as a means of attaining electoral victory nor of getting into power in order to dispense violence against Ugandan citizens.
Those who might suggest otherwise are merely those who have reached the end of their rope.
Let me also state that these cruel acts tantamount to gross human rights abuse. We have documented them and will pursue redress through courts of law up to the highest level.
Those perpetuating these crimes need to remember that these are your brothers and sisters. After the elections, you all have to face and live with each other.
As we approach the last 40 days of this campaign, the tempo is growing and the people are becoming more decisive.
The tensions may rise, but I appeal to those in authority to exercise fairness, restraint and better judgement for the sake of our children, our neighbours and our country, Uganda.
This is what we deserve as a nation- peaceful transition of power. It starts now.
For God and My Country,
TDA(U) Go Forward