The leadership of the National Unity Platform (NUP) has described as ridiculous and shameless the claim by the military that their supporter, Eric Mwesigwa, had been coached and paid by the party leader, Robert Kyagulanyi, aka Bobi Wine, to claim that he was tortured by the government security agencies.
The UPDF spokesperson, Brig Gen Felix Kulayigye at the army headquarters in Mbuya on Wednesday paraded Mwesigwa, who accused NUP officials of luring him into tarnishing the government’s image.
“The NUP members promised me a fee of Shs50 million and a trip to the USA. They told me, do what they are telling you. But I can assure you that even where I was residing, they refused to pay the rent,” he said.
But Bobi Wine said the claims are an amateurish attempt by the UPDF to “spin the unfortunate torture of a citizen by the army, which confirms that indeed the torture meted out on Mwesigwa and others like him is sanctioned by the UPDF and other security agencies.”
“The shameless, criminal regime at it again! Same old tricks. Same ridiculousness. Mwesigwa Eric has been complaining of being trailed ever since he spoke about his torture. Today, from an army barracks, they parade him to claim it’s NUP that tortured him! What a bunch of thugs,” he said.
He added: “We have also noted the empty claims that NUP abducts its own supporters using drones. Fortunately, vigilant Ugandans have always recorded videos of most of these abductions involving armed security men and everytime there have been such incidents, majority of the victims have been arraigned in court after building pressure through applications to court by our lawyers and the public. Examples are many- Katto Hussein Gaza, Motiv Kasaga, Bobi Young, Jamushid Kavuma, among many others. Only yesterday, they abducted another man right outside Buganda Road Court. Was that NUP in action???
I challenge Kulayigye and his fellow conspirators to produce the CCTV footage of Mwesigwa ‘s abduction!”
NUP spokesman Joel Ssenyonyi said such tricks are known by the public and don’t come as a surprise.
“This is Felix Kulayigye, the UPDF Spokesperson who thought he would hoodwink Ugandans by parading a torture victim whom he had coached. Unfortunately for him, he wasn’t smart in his game-plan. It is sad when grown up men engage in amateurish schemes. Shame on you Kulayigye!” he said.
Last month, Mr Mwesigwa was in the media claiming security personnel had abducted him and burnt his chest with a hot flat iron.
This was after he was paraded by Mr Kyagulanyi before journalists at the party headquarters in Kamwokya, a Kampala suburb. He also petitioned the Uganda Human Rights commission (UHRC) seeking justice and compensation.