Category Torture



One of the reasons our people are getting this abusive to the population is that we have so far failed to hold them accountable to their actions. It has so far amazed me that in the all past governments in Uganda we have not had a single Ugandan taken to court and charged of human right abuse. We get tyrants and absorb them into society in both inside the country and outside the country. If you look at a country like Rwanda where many have been hunted down it gives those in power a second thinking before they become tyrants like this fat man.

We need to collect as much evidence as possible and send these Police Officers to Hague. Let me also again go after the Uganda population of UK, we have seen a whole lot of these people ending up in UK, target them and sue them. And on this one I hand it to Canada for we have written some very strict laws on books that no single country out there has written them, for we can arrest you in this country and charge you under a Canadian law if we have evidence that you abused Ugandans when you were in power. The Rwandese that have been arrested in this country we even have a specific fund to fly Rwandese from Kigali to the court system here and bite you with evidence. abuse2

So if you are in Uganda and in power and abused the population do not think about showing up in Canada for we will arrest you. In fact we now have a special section in The RCMP {Royal Canadian Mountain Police} which only investigates people with human rights abuse in their own countries. Since we now have the ability of Utube and cameras, record many of these things for they are going to be useful in front of a judge. And after you serve the time The Canadian law set up, we pack you on a flight out back to your country. Uganda Police officers need to get this information. But when photographs like these are posted, I need to know the particulars of these officers, honestly there is someone in Kampala that must know these names and file numbers if possible.

The more we keep quite after such behaviors the more they will be abusive.

Edward Mulindwa.

Lt. Gen.Kayihura Denies Stitching up Top Regime Officials: Nyakayirima, ‘Tinyefunza’ and Mbabazi

His Excellency Yoweri Kaguta Museveni
The President of Uganda,
P.O.Box 25497
State House,
January, 20th,2013

Yours Excellency. I am Catherine Ddembe, the FDC councilor of Mpigi district and a close friend of Ssebina Ssekitoleko your NRM mobiliser for several years. Around September 2012, I was requested by -y friend Sebina to meet the Inspector General of Police, Lt. General Kale Kayihura to discuss some urgent matters. I agreed to meet General Kayihura in his office at Police Headquarters on Parliamentary Avenue, he asked me to do a mission for him and in return, I would be paid whatever I wanted.

He offered to give me a title for a house in Kampala and a scholarship abroad for further studies. He wanted me to visit my friend Michael Kabaziguruka, the Vice Chairman FDC Electoral Commission at Luzira Prison, where he was remanded on treason charges to convince him as well as Frederick Namara who was once your soldier in PGB and others that were facing similar charges to confess to having been rebels.

Dr. Kizza Besigye he said is a problem with his attempts to overthrow government. He wanted me to convince Kabaziguruka to give a written confession saying this. I got worried when he also asked me to say that the Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi, the Chief of Defense Forces General Nyakairima, General David Tinyefuza, and others were the funders and leaders of this rebel group. As a supporter of FDC, you know that I do not support the People’s Redemption Army. If Kabaziguruka and the others agreed to cooperate, they would get their freedom and 200 million shillings each.

I was scared, but I still went to visit the prisoners. ln fact, I visited them many times but my conscience was not clear. I even went to Nakawa court when they were taken there. Ssebina drove me all the times and I felt I could not say no. My friend’s reaction to my offer was of suspicion. They claimed that they had been framed regarding rebel activities, and were not willing to confess in case they ended up in jail forever. Then they told me some other FDC member had also approached them telling them that they were to be poisoned in prison. They told me to go talk to their lawyer Rwakafuzi. When I reported back to the IGP, he said he would talk to Rwakafuzi himself. I did not tell Kale of the poison threats on the prisoners.

A few days later, Kale called me and informed me that Rwakafuzi had refused the offer and said that his clients were innocent in the first place. Then Kale told me to continue engaging my friends at Luzira to convince them that they would find them another lawyer. He even offered to pay their legal fees and upon their release they would be paid 400 million shillings each. I went to talk with Kabaziguruka and Namara again but they refused saying they would die. Kabaziguruka refused saying that in his life he had never met with Mbabazi, Sejusa and Aronda and he can’t help NRM sort out its internal fights.

As for Besigye, Kabaziguruka said that he will die first before implicating his President. When I reported back to Kale, he became angry and insisted that I must finish my mission since he had already arranged a meeting for me with you during your visit to his father’s memorial service in Kisoro last October. After that I went back and met Kabaziguruka and Namara while they were appearing at Nakawa High Court but again they refused.

On Independence Day, Kale called me and informed me that he would skip the Independence celebrations at Kololo and that I should meet him in Muyenga Community Police Post. I wondered why the IGP would miss the Golden Jubilee celebrations and want to meet me. When I arrived, Kale accused me of not doing enough to convince my friends at Luzira to cooperate and yet this operation was blessed by you. He talked a lot about how this operation began Your Excellency, I beg to meet you and tell you more when it is us two.

He told me that the arrest of Kabaziguruka and friends was a set up. This is also what Kabaziguruka had been telling me when I visited him. But Kale said it was your Special Forces that planted those guns. Afande Brig. Muhoozi Kainerugaba had assigned his most trusted soldier, Captain Kashakamba to carry out the operation. I did not believe him and told him that I was scared and wanted to get out of these things.

I feared also now that I would be killed. Kale gave me 20 million shillings to continue with Kabaziguruka group until they agreed to the deal. 20 million was supposed to take care of their families and their welfare at Luzira. Kale told me that he had deployed police escorts to guard the Kabazigurukas on the way to and from Nakawa High Court and that this was a way of putting pressure on them to show them that they had no alternative but had to accept his offer.

While we were seated together, Kale received a phone call from someone he kept on calling as MK. He told him that he had received reports that the Besigye/Mbabazi, Aronda,Tinyefuza group was planning to ambush the prisons vehicle that was transporting the Kabaziguruka’s to court and kill the suspects in order to stop them from talking’ In addition to this, he reported to the same MK that the group had some rebel troops already in Kampala and were planning to attack Mbuya Miltary Barack Naguru Police Barracks and other isolated police stations in central Region. And then Kale told MK that he had requested for 127 billion shillings to sort this out and they were delaying’ He also said on phone that the request was sent to Finance under “supplies” and they were delaying. He told the person on the other side of the phone that they would put pressure on Finance through you since the rebels were becoming stronger.

When he got off the phone, Kale told me that since the Kisoro meeting with you did not happen’ he wanted me to meet you at another time. He told me to tell you that my friends in Luzira had confessed in me that the leaders of their rebel group were NRM leaders in the army and in the party and that also Besigye had carried the other army generals to meet to the Kabaka at his palace in Banda where Kabaka had given his blessing. He also told Muganda me that since the inmates refused to confess, my story would be enough. I am a Your Excellency. I cannot speak about the Kabaka like that.

Your Excellence I decided then that i was going to go in hiding. This man was using your name and I did not feel safe. To know Kale is doing a bad thing, he said he would travel with Ingrid Turinawe our chairperson of FDC women’s League to Norway. From Norway he wanted to buy a confession from a man called Frank Atukunda who is a political refugee in Norway. But when I asked Ssebina why Norway, he told me, Kale was going to Rome for an International police conference. Ssebina told me that I should not talk’ nobody knew he was going to Norway and everyone thinks he will be in Rome. Kale would fly to Thailand to meet you and hand over the confessions he gets in Norway himself.

After this, I got scared and decided to go hide in the village for some time. My conscience was not clear so I asked my relatives and some party members what to do. I was advised to run away from Ssebina and Kale because they are dangerous and powerful. Can you imagine Your Excellence, that Ssebina is so powerful that even Kayihura took him to address the police council? Also Ssebina moves with 5 guns in his car.

Your Excellency, I have written to you because I fear for my life. These people are using your name’ I am also seeking audience to tell you more. The recent problems in Kampala must be the work of IGP Kayihura and Ssebina and their people to justify the existence of the rebel group’ I say this because I have heard Ssebina boasting that these killings are being done by a unit in police headed by a man called Nixon.”

Bayera Gacumba

This work of fiction by very evil and malicious persons. I have never met, talked to Dembe Catherine, let alone what is being alleged here. The alleged meetings, and conversations simply did not happen. Preliminary investigations clear show that the letter itself is fictitious. I did not realize how evil, diabolical some human beings can be! No wonder, they crucified Jesus, and this weekend have no shame celebrating his resurrection.


Black Monday Movement In Uganda:Here is how Bishop Dr Zac Niringiye’s anticorruption crusade landed him into captivity

Vincent Nuwagaba

I find the 2013 Uganda quite humorous, quite enthralling but also bemusing as much as it is amusing. Since 2008, the government has treated me as a ball to be kicked by any policeman; it has taken me to be a drum; it has turned me into a punching bag. The reason has been simple: I speak too much and what I speak is too true to be fathomed. In fact, I have been portrayed as a problem everywhere. My colleagues in the human rights fraternity have ignored me; some of them have gullibly and naively concluded that I am mentally disabled never mind that the so-called experts have also declared me to be a genius.

Why do I begin with these opening remarks? On Monday February 4, I was arrested together with Bishop Zac Niringiye as we distributed the Black Monday Newsletter that chronicled corruption scandals by politicians and civil servants in the “visionary NRM government under the visionary leader” His Excellency Yoweri Museveni.

As we drove in Bishop Niringiye’s vehicle towards our next stage, we were blocked by the police patrol vehicle. Soon, I saw very many policemen armed to the teeth cocking their guns and I realized we had been arrested. While it may have come as a shock to the venerable Bishop, I found it quite usual and deep in my heart I was happy that the police had played into our hands.

A few minutes later, SSP Sam Omala ordered Bishop Niringiye to lower the window glasses. We were told to go to Wandegeya for a chat with the police and we obliged and we went in the company of two uniformed police officers both of them Cadet Assistant Superintend of Police.

As we reached Wandegeya, we found some students had also been arrested and they were asking why they were being subjected to anguish and torment. As I spoke in defence of the students, Bishop Niringiye rebuked me and told me he was going to chase me. At that point the man of God didn’t realize that he had already been arrested and he didn’t know that being soft with the police wouldn’t help him at all.

Minutes after arriving at the police city lawyer my friend Nicholas Opiyo arrived but he alone can tell the ridicule he was subjected to by SSP Omara and the Wandegeya Police station OC CID. Poor Nicholas and Zac thought they were going to use civil means with the police that has no scintilla of civility never mind that it is by law supposed to be a civilian force.
Our lawyer Nicholas Opiyo was reinforced by another prominent lawyer Deo Nkunzingoma, president Uganda Law Society. Because I am very close to Nicholas Opiyo and very close to Deogratias Nkuzingoma, I was tempted to think that they were there primarily because of me. In a short while, both the lawyers and my co-suspects became uncomfortable with me. Why? Because I never beseeched the police, I told them off and when the OC CID attempted to beat me, I told him that I would send him to his creator if he dared to touch me.

Inevitably, I was looked at as a spoiler and separated from the other suspects. I called my own lawyers – Asuman Basalirwa and tried getting in touch with Norbert Mao. Not because I despise Nicholas Opiyo for I know he is one the most brilliant young lawyers in Kampala but because he failed to understand one thing: that political questions are best answered with political solutions.

As a human rights defender and scholar I refuse to accept one thing. I will never negotiate with anybody when I know he or she is wrong. I will never sweet-talk anybody doing wrong. My approach works very well. My brains are superb and they never lie to me. This explains why I am now a free man but Bishop Niringiye is a captive because he still has to report to police on February 14. This explains why I never stepped in police cells but Bishop Niringiye and others did. This explains why I stayed in my shoes, stayed with my phone and all possessions but they rest had them removed.

The Black Monday architects are not entirely clean

Sadly, our society is entirely rotten. There’s stinking corruption in Civil Society Organisations more than in government agencies. And the reason is simple: because all government institutions are kaput, no efforts have ever been made to unearth corruption orchestrated, perpetrated and perpetuated by CSOs. I can state without any contradiction that most noise makers in civil society organizations are stinking rich not because of hard work but because they pilfer donor funds which are meant to benefit the ordinary citizen. And because the so-called activists know me, they don’t allow me closer to them. That’s why I am the only activist who earns no coin from the donors.

Definitely, there’s a lot of money for the Black Monday campaign. The organizers are not ready to account to anybody. I wonder how and why they should address press conferences without our knowledge; they meet the police without me even when I am at the venue; they address joint press conferences with the police without our mandate. Is civil society synonymous with NGOs? No. Are civil society members employees in the NGOs? An empathic no. To NGO Forum, HURINET, Uganda Debt Net Work (UDN), Anticorruption Coalition Uganda (ACCU), DENIVA, Leonard Okello, Bishop Zac Niringiye, and Jackie Asiimwe, among others, corruption cannot be fought using nontransparent means. As you put to task the thieves to account, you also must account for the funds that use in the Black Monday Campaign. At least, I know for sure that you are not using your own money. I also need a vehicle, I need money, I need newsletters and all other paraphernalia to enable me in the campaign. I am the only person who dovetails with the unemployed youths and students in universities and other institutions of learning. I can give several reasons to buttress my argument if you dispute my assertion.

What shocked me is that after the release of Bishop Niringiye from the cells, virtually all the activists were less enthusiastic about the release of the students who incidentally had been recruited by Dr Niringiye into the campaign. I told the police leadership – ACP Tanui, the Regional Police Commander that I would mobilize students from Makerere to torch the police station if the students were not released after Dr Niringiye had been released. They were actually released after they had seen go to Makerere University to do the mobilization.

I embrace the Black Monday campaign simply because the issues raised are legitimate not that I agree with the architects. I believe that after successfully burying political corruption, it will be easy to put an end to corruption in NGOs and trade unions. I have resolved never to step in police cells again and never to be beaten by the police again until I have ousted Museveni’s regime using brain power. To successfully fight mediocrity, corruption and social injustice, you must consult me. I never joined anyone among the Black Monday activists in the fight against Museveni’s dysfunctional regime but they have all joined me. They cannot claim to be my leaders in the anticorruption crusade.

Mr Nuwagaba is a human rights defender

Remember: Eliminating political opponents has dire consequences

Those of us opposed to the re-emergence of oppressive Tutsi hegemony and creation of Tutsi Empire in the Great Lakes region are or our family members are being threatened with elimination. Those who are attempting assassinations need to remember that there are consequences which could be immediate or occur later. Here are some examples of what happened to those who eliminated their political opponents.

1. Execution of Lenin brother. It was perhaps the loss of his brother that forced Lenin to devote the balance of his life to settle scores with the Romanov ruling family. In 1917 the Russian Revolution swept the Romanov out of power ending a three hundred year dynasty and the elimination of the entire family of Nicholas II the last Romanov Czar (king).

2. Assassination of Deng’s brother and maiming his son. Deng Xiaoping developed ideological differences with Mao especially during the Cultural Revolution. He was accused of abandoning socialism in favor of capitalism. In the struggle that ensued, Deng lost his brother and his son was thrown out of a window from the fourth floor of a university building and sustained permanent injuries. Deng himself was humiliated in public, stripped of his titles and exiled to remote areas where he worked under awful conditions. When Mao died, Deng found his way back into the leadership of China. Members of the Gang of Four including Mao’s widow who had humiliated him got arrested for criminal activities, were tried and received severe punishments. It is reported that Mao’s widow could not endure the pain and took her own life.

3. Assassination of Benigno Aquino at Manila Airport. A former senator, Aquino was a strong opponent of Ferdinand Marcos, then president of the Philippines. On returning from exile, Aquino was gunned down at Manila International Airport. Marcos had hoped that with Aquino out of the way for good, he would rule happily ever after. But that was perhaps the biggest mistake of his life. Aquino’s death sparked a People Power Revolution demanding Marcos to go. In panic, he organized a ‘snap election’ hoping to disorient his opponents and win re-election. When he realized he couldn’t win, he had the election stolen and was declared the winner. That added fuel to the raging fire. The Minister of Defense and Deputy Chief of Staff abandoned Marcos and joined the Revolution. Fearing that Marcos troops would finish them, they appealed to the Archbishop of Manila, Cardinal Jaime Sin to help. He concurred and within hours mobilized 2 million demonstrators that formed a human barricade around the place where the minister and deputy chief of staff were located. Marcos troops couldn’t do much and with advice from a friendly country, Marcos conceded defeat and fled the country. Aquino’s widow, Cory Aquino, was sworn in as the next president.

The three examples have sufficiently demonstrated that elimination of political opponents or their family members or relatives and friends has dire consequences. Therefore those in Uganda and other parts of the Great Lakes region bent on eliminating opponents need to think again.

Let us begin a new chapter and playing politics by the rule. Let us compete by demonstrating who we are, our history and family background, what we have done in public and/or private life and what we plan to do for present and future generations.

I have declared interest in Uganda politics, circulated my profile and articulated my policies for Uganda. Let other aspiring candidates do the same so that the people of Uganda have all the data to make informed choices. Eliminating opponents should be ruled out as a means of earning a public office.


Nuwagaba ressponds to the Uganda Human Rights Commission Article on UAH

The UHRC to my article is as laughable as it is ludicrous
“Don’t be afraid. Go on speaking, and don’t be silent, for I am with you. No one will attack and harm you, for I have many people in this city”. Acts 18:9-10

I received a response to my article by the Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC) with a mixture of consternation and laughter. With consternation because the UHRC could debase itself by sinking so low and with hope that the article portrayed the type of people we have at the commission. If anyone doubted the commission’s mediocrity, the response to my article ostensibly authored by my sister Florence Munyirwa can really confirm that. I, however, must state that such media exchanges are healthy and they don’t only buttress freedom of expression which is a cardinal human right but also help to bolster democracy in our society. I will respond to the UHRC article in turn.

1. The Commission in its opening remarks states that it has observed me as “a self-acclaimed human rights defender” but adds that it’s concerned that I should get adequate mental health and counseling. I want to state from the outset that I appreciate that I need adequate mental health just like everyone including but not limited to all UHRC staff need mental health services. As to whether I am a self-acclaimed human rights defender, I refer the UHRC to United Nations Fact Sheet 29 for it is absurd that a whole National Human Rights Institution that has recently won an award from the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights (ACHPR) and holds an ‘A’ status given by the United Nation’s International Coordinating Committee for National Human Rights Institutions doesn’t know who a human rights defender is.

On the allegation that I have assaulted a Police Officer at CPS and another at the UHRC Head Office, I kindly beg that Ms Munyirwa the author of the derogatory response comes to court to give evidence. The UHRC is full of lawyers and they know quite well that whoever alleges proves. As I speak, I am out on cash bail and I will periodically report to court to answer to the charges that were politically-motivated by the UHRC. I wish to state that the UHRC is only a National Human Rights Institution in name but in practice it is a political institution aimed at doing public relations for Museveni’s NRM regime by whitewashing the regime’s depraved and nasty human rights record.

2. That I have been admitted to Butabika more than twice. I find the UHRC reasoning not only wanting but also unfortunate and absurd. The UHRC has engineered my being taken to Butabika on two occasions. They only do that after I have punched holes in what they do and shown them that they have to respect donors’ and taxpayers’ money. On both occasions, I have not been subjected to drugs because I have asserted myself. I want to request that the UHRC produces a medical report from Butabika if it is to continue using that pretext to gag me and dismiss me as an insane person. I must add, though, that I will proudly accept to be labeled insane if that’s what it takes to fight for justice in this country. I will however, not shy away from assuring those who label me insane that for them they are suffering from schizophrenia which is the highest form of mental illness. May I also assure the UHRC that stigma is antithetical to promotion of human rights?

3. Award for Best African National Human Rights Institution (NHRI)

I clearly stated in my article the reasons as to why the UHRC cannot be the best African NHRI. If the UHRC disagrees with what I stated, they should show how far they have gone in addressing the rights concerning the areas I raised. Fortunately, as I write this article, yesterday Friday, November 16, the Commission Chairperson Med S.K Kaggwa was at Makerere University School of Law on a function organized by the school’s Public Interest Legal Aid Clinic (PILAC) together with AIGP Andrew Felix Kaweesi and Prof John-Jean Barya addressing students, human rights and law practitioners. In his introductory remarks, Prof Christopher Mbazira remarked that the public had fears that with the appointment of Med Kaggwa as UHRC Chairperson the situation would worsen but it has improved. When time for discussion came, I told the audience and Mr. Kaggwa that I am fully convinced that the UHRC is promoting human rights in the breach and it never merited an award. Mr. Kaggwa couldn’t respond. In the morning hours yesterday, a day after responding to my article, the Commission locked both its gates to block my entrance. This was not the first time. They have done that several times whenever they behave in an uncouth manner towards me. Surprisingly, I had been to the Chairman’s office on November 9 and I had been given November 16 as the day when I would meet him. I am sure the locking of the commission gates had been ordered by Gordon Mwesigye or Florence Munyirwa who knew I would question her about her defamatory statement against me. It has taken me many years in school and out of school to build my name. I will not accept the UHRC, an institution mandated to protect and promote our rights cardinal of which is the right to human dignity which includes the right to one’s good name to destroy my name by a stroke of a pen. I will not accept that! Accordingly, I demand a written and published apology from the commission and if the commission can prove that I am defaming it like the statement claims, I should also be forced to apologise to it publicly. I know my observation about the UHRC is first justified and secondly, it is a fair comment. Justification and fair comment are two defences against defamation. If the UHRC through Ms Munyirwa can prove that their remarks are fair comments and/or justified, they should state so and re-echo their remarks.

4. Slow resolution of disputes and failure to pay UHRC awards

I must state that I find the reasoning given by UHRC wanting and laughable. When the UHRC states that they have to take time to adhere to the principles of natural justice, I laugh out loud instead of mourning. It’s well-known to everyone who cares to know that it’s a principle of natural justice that “justice delayed is justice denied”. Put another way, it is a maxim of equity that “delay defeats equity”. So, Ms Munyirwa, what exactly do you mean when you evoke natural justice? I hope the UHRC knows the principles of natural justice? I know there’s a principle of law that requires the judges, the commission in this case to listen to both sides. This principle is called “Audi alteram partem”. Adhering to this principle doesn’t mean the matter should take ages before it’s resolved. Otherwise, how come the courts are faster yet ordinarily the tribunals should be faster than courts in dispensing justice? On the court awards, I wish to re-echo what the commission chairperson Mr. Med Kaggwa said at the above mentioned function at Makerere University. The chairperson stated that “the government owes Sh4.5 billion to human rights victims and it seems not interested to pay yet some of the victims need this money to treat themselves”. This augments my statement that the victims rarely get the awards. The question to be asked thus is, “What does it help to lodge one’s complaint with the UHRC when there will likely be no compensation even if one won the case?” Granted, the UHRC has no budget for awards. Is it not a toothless barking dog? Has it ever petitioned parliament to amend the UHRC Act to allow it the mandate to compensate victims? My considered view is that the UHRC is in place for propaganda purposes – i.e to show that the NRM is committed to fight human rights violations. During my Secondary School days we would say, “Tubamanyire” meaning we have known you. Surely, some of us have known the UHRC.

It is quite unfortunate for the UHRC to state that I have personal vendetta against any UHRC staff member. I share nothing else in common with those people apart from the fact that I am impassioned for human rights and justice which ironically they shamelessly abuse although their mandate is to promote, protect and defend them. I am told that a group of enraged young men (call them “patriots”) under the leadership of Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, Uganda’s current president picked fire arms on February 6, 1981 to fight a government that they had lost to in an election that had been held hardly two months before on December 10, 1980. That group of “patriots” walked on dead bodies to ascend to state power five years later. No state institution including the UHRC has ever labeled such “patriots” violent. Paradoxically, I, Vincent Nuwagaba who only uses my pen and my tongue am portrayed by the UHRC to be violent. What a contradiction? What an absurdity?

5. The Commission fights human rights defenders

I want to re-echo what I stated that the Commission fights human rights defenders who are critical of the government’s sordid human rights record. I am a human rights defender and I don’t have to labour to prove that. My record can speak for me. I believe if nobody is willing to speak your story, your story should speak about you. When I was a students’ leader at Makerere University since 2001-2004, I consistently decried the inhuman and degrading treatment the government subjected to the government-sponsored students. I wrote several letters in the Daily Monitor and anybody including but not limited to the UHRC can check the Monitor archives to ascertain my claim. I wasn’t paid by anybody but was driven by my passion for justice and human dignity. I strenuously opposed the repeal of Article 105(2) in our Constitution both on air and in print. I have rescued so many people detained illegally in the police cells. Just recently, I helped all the inmates of Murchison Bay Prison make phone calls to their people free of charge. Before my incarceration there the Welfare Officer Nurru Kateregga used to demand for money before making any phone call for anybody yet the welfare office is funded by our very organization the Foundation for Human Rights Initiative (FHRI) under the Para Legal Advisory Services project. I continue to be a fearless voice of the voiceless and what frustrates me is the fact that we don’t have a fully independent press. Otherwise, I would be exposing the most glaring human rights cases that you cannot believe. In all I do, I get no salary; I get no funding from donors or taxpayers’ money. So what is the UHRC claim to fame vis-à-vis poor Vincent Nuwagaba?

6. I want to thank the UHRC for putting a very big smile on my face. I am sure the UHRC is caught between a devil and a deep blue sea. This reminds me of a story that my grandma Susanna Kirakwende (RIP) used to tell me when I was young. The story is about a hyena which was swallowed meat fats that were glued on a stone that had been overly heated. When the hyena swallowed the meat, it found it extremely hot. Therefore, the hyena started asking itself, “Ncwere, ncwere obunuzi, miire, miire omuriro”, meaning “if I spit, I will spit the delicacy; if I swallow, I will swallow fire”. The hyena stayed in its indecision until it died of the hot meat fat glued on a stone that was as hot as a furnace. Likewise, in its myopic folly of portraying me an insane man and at the same time prosecuting me, the UHRC will ultimately sooner than later meet its demise. As a matter of fact, the UHRC has since February 8, this year subjected me to inhuman and degrading treatment but also instigated pharmacological torture against me. I am part of the civil society group that developed the Prevention and Prohibition of Torture Bill which was enacted into law and assented to by the President on July 12, 2012. I also did a media campaign for this law by publishing articles in newspapers. I am sure the UHRC knows very well that among the forms of torture highlighted by the Act is pharmacological torture. Can the UHRC claim it has not tortured me or can Mr. Gordon Mwesigye claim he hasn’t tortured me?

As a matter of fact, I have no problem with the police at the UHRC. I know they are just used as attack dogs. One of them has on one occasion asked me, “how come you don’t quarrel with anybody but when Mwesigye sees you he becomes hysterical?” and I told him, “ask yourself that or ask Mr. Mwesigye”. I never go to the commission with any tool – not even a safety pin or a razor blade. How come they fear me? I know sooner than later we shall dismiss Ugandan dictators without arms. And I am happy I am becoming an expert on non-violence revolution using nobody’s experience. I am not using Mahatma Gandhi’s experience; I am not using Martin Luther King’s experience. I only request the journalists to always cover me so that in the near future there’s a video, audio and written evidence of how to overthrow decadent regimes. I have learnt that to overthrow Museveni, we must start with his roots – who are his cadres in state institutions. Museveni merely thrives and survives on decadent institutions. That’s why I will go for some elements in the police such as Edward Kale Kayihura and Andrew Felix Kaweesi; I will go for his cadres in the UHRC, I will go for his cadres in the judiciary and his cadres in the Electoral Commission. We eject cadres from state institutions, we shall have ejected Museveni.

I find it laughable that with my levels of education, with my work experience in academic institutions, research institutions and human rights organizations, I Vincent Nuwagaba, can be branded by the UHRC a vagabond that has to be kept off its premises! I have stated this several times and I have to reiterate it. Public institutions are impersonal. They only exist to serve the public. The UHRC doesn’t belong to Gordon Mwesigye, Med Ssozi Kaggwa, Roselyn Karugonjo or Florence Munyirwa who shamelessly abuse the otherwise revered institution. I definitely love the UHRC. Incidentally, I even love and respect the UHRC staff including those who degrade, dehumanize and torture me. But I vehemently hate their filthy actions and character. I separate sin from the sinner. I accordingly, hate the sin but I unreservedly love and respect the sinner.

7. Visits to detention centres

I find it laughable if not ludicrous that the UHRC says it visits detention centres yet it has never published the grave human rights violations inflicted on the prisoners especially in prison farms. Please, go to Murchison Bay prison and ask for a prisoner called Gerald Kamanzi. Ask him how he had three bullets showered into his foot. Ask him whether he is a convict. If he is not, tell the entire world why remands are used to do hard labour in the prisons’ farms. Mao Tse Tung once said “No investigation, no right to speak”. The truth of the matter that UHRC only does propaganda not human rights work. The Commission should let people like us who do human rights work do the talking and the commission does the listening. By the way, very soon, I will publish the glaring case of a young man who was castrated by the state operatives and his case was abandoned by the commission depending on flimsy and uncalled for technicalities.

8. Partisan officials at the UHRC

I know that all fairly educated Ugandans know for sure that very few state institutions if any employ people on meritocracy basis. By the way this also goes to non-state institutions. My concern, however, is about state institutions. Before one gets a job, they must be from an NRM family, they must be NRM members or sympathizers and in a number if not all cases, investigations have to be carried out up to the Local Council level. We have village internal security officers (VISOs), parish internal security officers (PISOs), Gombolola internal security officers (GISOs), District security officers (DISOs) and so forth. We also have MISOs (Makerere internal security officers) and I have friends in ISO who tell me that ISO deploys everywhere – including in churches, mosques, non-governmental NGOs, hospitals, academic institutions, name it. At the function at Makerere University, Mr. Med Kaggwa acknowledged that he was appointed to head the commission because he was an NRM cadre. Prof John-Jean Barya, expressed worry that president Museveni has always stated that he wants to appoint NRM cadres to run the judiciary. IGP Kale Kayihura is an NRM cadre and all the leaders in the police are NRM cadres – on Tuesday, November 13, the OC CID at CPS proudly told me and some two Makerere students of how he is an NRM cadre and how they are ready to crush the opposition. He even candidly pulled out his NRM card and showed it to us! The entire Electoral Commission is headed by NRM cadre (we have done a scientific study for the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa and UNDP headed by Professor John-Jean Barya). Thus, if all other state institutions are run by the UHRC, what’s so unique, what is so special; what is so spectacular about the UHRC?

9. UHRC position on topical human rights issues

I am glad that the UHRC says that it gives its position on topical human rights issues. How come, I don’t see its position on the right to education; the right to health; the right to employment and the right to adequate standards of living? How come the Commission is not upfront and forthright on socio-economic rights which in most of my newspaper articles I have accentuated? How come the police stay in condemned asbestos roofed houses far contrary to ILO Convention 162 that was ratified by Uganda many years ago? How come the commission has always been silent about workers’ rights which are a springboard for all other rights? How come in the wake of public universities’ fees hike tuition, Mr. Kaggwa said it was alright? How come many civilians are tried in military courts and stay in prison for more than six years as remands? Go to Murchison Bay and look for John Bosco Olweny. Follow his case to its logical conclusion and then tell me that UHRC does human rights work. Talk about human rights reports is hogwash. Unfortunately, the UHRC will win an award as the best NHRI from the ACHPR and will get an A status from the UN International Coordinating Committee for National Human Rights Institutions on the basis of the reports it makes. But do reports promote and protect human rights? I am in the field and know what is taking place. If I was allowed freedom to utilize my brains and time, I would write a paper on each of the components raised. I believe, though that I will do my best before I am exterminated. If I am killed before doing that so be it.


The UHRC rightly states that it is the only National Human Rights Institution and it will remain so. The statement adds that UHRC has no need to compete for supremacy with any other organization. I know the UHRC personnel feel offended whenever Foundation for Human Rights Initiative (FHRI) is appreciated. But that’s because UHRC has abdicated its duties and obligations. It has been overshadowed by FHRI in the field of human rights and in Uganda human rights is synonymous with Livingstone Sewanyana and FHRI. I also want to state that organizations such as the National NGO Forum currently headed by Mr. Richard Sewakiryanga are doing a more relevant job than the UHRC. However, I will not overly critique the UHRC. Surely, virtually all state institutions in Uganda are now kaput.

Anybody who tries to block me from accessing the services of any state institutions is a somnambulist; a sleep walker for I know I am a citizen and not a subject. The UHRC can only do that if they banish me. Unfortunately for them, several direct and indirect overtures have been made to banish me and I have refused. Ask the human rights defenders who are close to me how many times they have attempted to get me asylum in the most highly developed country America. Conduct research and establish how many US government officials have had interviews with me and asked me what I want and I never tell them I want asylum.

I would like to refer everyone including the UHRC of the scripture “We are afflicted in every way, but not constrained; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed” (2Corithians 4:8-9).

Finally, I advise my sister Florence Munyirwa not to be used. After receiving the statement in my inbox I asked her in a text message whether she was ready to finish the battle she had launched against me and she replied by saying she was not involved in any fight against me because she doesn’t want strife adding that the statement was by the UHRC. My worry, however, is why does she accept to be used as though she is a robo? As a matter of fact, I cannot fight her for I know she is not a problem. Let her learn that she can only make a plausible point by attacking the points I raise not by labeling me a mentally deranged person for I am sure readers can decipher who is mentally deranged between me and her owing to what we write. Labeling me insane is just diversionary aimed to forestall us from asking the tough questions. I know I am not only a critical thinker but a philosopher king who cannot indulge in trading insults.

The UHRC should also apologise to HURINET’s Patrick Tumwine for abusing his name in matters the commission doesn’t know. The truth of the matter is that on September 28, when we had a workshop about the right to know, I was grabbed by the police from the hotel at the orders of the Director for information in the Office of the Prime Minister Simon Mayende because he felt uncomfortable with the truth I was speaking. Patrick Tumwine followed me out after my arrest and pleaded with the police to release me in vain. When I told him about the UHRC statement he was very disappointed that the UHRC can disgrace itself to that level! I cannot rule out anything including but not limited to being put to death for my advocacy for total, real liberation of this country. Therefore, I request that whatever I have documented be published online and in hard copies in case I have been exterminated by Museveni and his cadres including UHRC staff. All generations will thus know what Vincent Nuwagaba stood for.

Vincent Nuwagaba is a human rights defender

Dear Museveni and Kale Kayihura, I only fear God- Nuwagaba Vincent

A child shot by the police during the riots in Masaka . She died 2 hours later

A child shot by the police during the riots in Masaka . She died 2 hours later

Vincent Nuwagaba

Dear Museveni and Kale Kayihura, I only fear God

“But as for me, behold, I am in your hands. Do with me as seems good and right to you. Only know for certain that if you put me to death, you will bring innocent blood upon yourselves and upon this city and its inhabitants, for in truth the LORD sent me to you to speak these words in your ears” Jeremiah 26:14 -15.

Since 10th April 2008, I have gone through untold torture, dehumanization, traumatisation, deprivation of my money and property and so many ugly scenarios. In June 2008, I almost had a rendezvous with my creator. To be specific, from 27th to 30th June 2008, I was almost dead. All because I use my tongue and my pen to condemn the grave injustice to which Ugandans are subjected by a group of people who purportedly spent five years in the bush fighting to liberate us.

As a matter of fact, majority of the bush war fighters were pursuing self-aggrandisement and self-liberation. Indeed, twenty seven years in power, they claim they are still liberating us even when it is vividly clear that all well-meaning Ugandans yearn to be liberated from the “liberators”.

On 10th April 2008, I had a complaint which I wanted to lodge with the Inspector General of Police Gen Edward Kale Kayihura. I guess he alerted the police men at the gate to torment me because as soon as I reached the entrance, the wretched policemen gave me hell. I straight away went to Human Rights Network (HURINET) and shared what I had gone through with HURINET’s national coordinator Mr. Muhammed Ndifuna. The following day on April 11, 2008, I was arrested and taken to Kampala Central Police Station (CPS) where I spent five days being subjected to all sorts of torture under the command of the then OC station Mr. Johnson Bahimbise. They secluded me from other inmates and locked me into a cell from where they poured too much water on me. From this first cell, I would get into contact with people outside and talk to them. One of the policemen who incidentally happened to be my old boy helped me to call Professor John-Jean Barya. When Professor Barya came to see me, he was audaciously blocked from seeing me.

They took me to another cell from which I wouldn’t communicate to anybody. What I did, I stubbornly got a mug and drew water from a sink and poured it onto the policemen who had come for the morning parade and left me into the torture cell. Later they removed me and pushed me into another tiny cell whose floor was littered with human excreta. When I stepped there, it was too painful as the floor was acidic. Meanwhile the police were inducing some inmates to pour cold water on me. As a blessing in disguise, the water they poured on me diluted the acid on the floor. At one time, my voice was broken and I only prayed to God that if I was to die I go into Abraham’s bosom.

After five days in the cells without eating or drinking anything, I saw my brothers Thomas Tayebwa and Bruce Balaba Kabaasa. I broke into tears as soon as I saw them. In the morning, when they came for me they were shamelessly told that if they couldn’t allow that I be taken to Butabika Mental Hospital, they wouldn’t release me. Tayebwa and Kabaasa were left with no choice. So they escorted me with the Police to Butabika Mental Hospital. I thought that if explained my ordeal to the Butabika people, they would understand. Little did I know that the police had already connived with them to conclude what the police had failed to achieve: to kill me using drugs. I remember when Bruce and Tayebwa were asked why I talk so fast and a lot, Bruce said, “Vincent talks a lot but he talks sense through and through”.

I spent nine days in the hospital at first and I got a leave to submit Manchester University scholarship forms to Kulika Charitable Trust. These forms had been brought to me by friends – Albert Ajuna and Alex Tusiime who found me in a terrible state in the hospital wherein I was subjected to pharmacological torture. When I left I never went back but resumed what I was doing – namely, advocating for justice. In mid May, I was arrested as I was going for a meeting at Uganda Christian University. I was taken to Jinja Road Police Station, deprived of money and assaulted. When I reached Jinja Road I was told to go to the Police surgeon for a medical report. Because I had alerted many people including the Foundation for Human Rights Initiative (FHRI) which sent two lawyers and some friends within the NRM, I was not detained. I was to be told by the DPC that “Nuwagaba, you can go when we need you we shall call you”. I was to learn that a friend who was working with statehouse is the one who called and ordered that they don’t detain me.

After that incident I was hosted on Radio West to represent the legal officer of the Democratic Party. On the programme I decried the incompetence, the mediocrity, the injustice and all social ills that characterized the NRM government including but not limited to deliberate refusal to stock health centres with drugs, neglect of government aided schools, granting of jobs on patronage basis, grand theft euphemistically referred to as corruption, among others. When I reached Kampala on May 28, I went to CPS to formally lodge a complaint about my money and property that were stolen as they arrested me. I was grabbed, beaten terribly and dumped into the dungeon. The following day, Alice Muwanguzi, the then RDC of Kampala found me in the cells. I told her what I had gone through and I said I was not ready to tolerate that nonsense.

Ms Muwanguzi told me, “Nuwagaba, let me go and order for your release”. Around twenty minutes later, I was called only to be dumped on the Police Patrol vehicle and dumped in Butabika. I was in Butabika from May 29 to June 24. I developed scales akin to those of tilapia fish, I developed goose bumps/pimples, I got swollen and I became really pathetic. After realizing that the mission to annihilate me with drugs had been accomplished, I was discharged on the 24 June two days to the UN day in support of torture victims.

On 26 June, I was covered in the ACTV documentary and my interview was later broadcast on WBS TV. People who watched it were shocked that the NRM behaves this way. On June 27, I woke up in a very worrying situation and went direct home in Bushenyi. I was later to heal from Ishaka Adventist Hospital where they treated the effects of the drugs I had been subjected to. From that time, I went on bed rest until October.

In 2009, I sued the Attorney General and Dr Tom Onen who had been used to subject me to pharmacological torture under civil suit 92/2009. The case was cause listed in May. However, my lawyer, Robert Kafuko Ntuyo kept telling me this and that.
After suing the government and Dr Onen, I further discovered many other glaring cases of people who were tormented by the police and later dumped in Butabika. I discovered a case of Gaudence Tushabomwe who was fleeced of her money exceeding Sh 25 million by an organization that reportedly had links with members of the first family. She was later dumped in CPS cells where spent many days and thereafter dumped in Butabika.

Dr David Basangwa wrote to the Jinja Road Police Divisional Police Commander asking him to restrain me from going to Butabika Hospital. I was declared persona non grata on the grounds that I sued the Hospital. The Jinja Road Police DPC acknowledged receipt of the letter and noted thus, “correspondence received. OC Butabika please take note and liaise with the Hospital Management.

I was beaten several times as I tried to document Gaudence Tushabomwe’s case. The hospital management would call virtually all the high ranking police officers to get me out of the hospital. Shamelessly, today, the police will pick me from anywhere I am exercising my rights and dump me into Butabika. On one occasion when I was beaten from Butabika, I wrote an open letter to Barack Obama and Ban Ki Moon. When the so-called experts at Butabika read it, they told the police officers that I am a genius, that I have overflowing brains and that that’s what disturbs me. My question to Butabika personnel is, “if God gave me unlimited brains for which I thank him, have you found it problematic that you have to diminish my brains using drugs?”

The nakedness of the lawyers and the courts
On 17th August I was arrested from Makerere University, beaten terribly and dumped in Wandegeya Police cells. Both the lows and highs of this country including UN experts pleaded with the then OC CID Rebecca Namugenyi to release me on police bond but she refused. I later learnt that she had received a call from the IGP Gen Kayihura who questioned her why I was allowed to make phone calls when I was under arrest. I had called Gen Kayihura himself, AIGP Julius Sharita, AIGP Asan Kasingye, CP Sam Kyomukama, CP John Ndungunse, among others.
A day later lecturers from Makerere Dr Yasin Olum and Bwire Lumumba found me at Wandegeya. I was swollen like I had been stung by a swam of bees. They pleaded with Ms Namugenyi for my release on police bond she refused. On 19, August the FHRI sent one of its staff members, Rashid Bunya. The police said they would only release me after subjecting me to drugs. They took me to Nsambya Hospital. I refused the drugs that were to be administered under the police orders and I told Rashid that I wanted to see Mr. Livingstone Sewanyana. I went and found the Deputy Director Sheila Muwanga who told the police that it was my right to refuse medication that they wanted to subject me to.

I was taken back to the police and at 2pm dumped in the police vehicle as if I was a terrorist. I was taken to KCC court before Grade II magistrate James Wambaya, remanded to Murchison Bay prison Luzira. I was to be given bail after magistrate James Wambaya had solicited a bribe of Sh 350,000 (three hundred and fifty thousand) from my friends who sadly used my own money to bribe that shark.

To my dismay, by the time I came out on bail I found that my case civil suit 92/2009 had been dismissed on August 28, 2009 without my knowledge, purportedly without my lawyer’s knowledge. Yet my lawyer had always been telling me the courts are on recess that’s why my case had not been heard. When I called my lawyer to inform him of what I had found out, he sounded rude and I got convinced that he had his palm oiled.

I would like to as that the high court gives me the ruling for my case otherwise, I will take on whoever dismissed my case. I would also like to ask my lawyer Mr. Robert Kafuuko Ntuyo to refund all the money that I gave him for to me, there is no work that he did. Short of that I will drag him to the Law Council and the Uganda Law Society, a professional body to which he belongs.

I would also wish to ask magistrate James Wambaya who without any sense of shame convicted me irregularly without a ruling, without a judgement and on some counts without me appearing in the dock for plea taking to immediately resign and apologise to me.

I appeal to Gen Kale Kayihura, AIGP Kawesi to desist from using institutions funded by taxpayers’ money to torture a person who does what very many others have feared to do. It is my and everyone’s patriotic call to condemn injustice. Like Martin Luther King Jr said “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”.

As a matter of fact, I have been dumped in police cells several times; I have been dumped in mental hospitals several times and I have been dragged to the courts of law and prisons several times. The question that should be asked is: what crime do I commit? Why is the regime scared of me? Why can’t I get peace? The truth of the matter is, I am intrepid, I am immune to fear. At least, I only fear God.

The writer is a human rights defender

Response to Vincent Nuwagaba’s article on UHRC Award

15 Nov 2012

The Commission’s attention has once again been drawn to another article by Mr. Vincent Nuwagaba that he sent to the UHRC official e mail but also posted on Ugandans-at-heart page and copied to his other partners on November 10, 2012. Comments in the article which seem to have been sparked off by the news that the Uganda Human Rights Commission had won the Award of best African National Human Rights Institution are to say the least unfortunate. This defamatory article follows an earlier one by the same author posted on Pambazuka and All Africa websites sometime in April this year.

The Commission wishes to re-state its earlier observation that whereas it has known Mr. Vincent Nuwagaba as a self-acclaimed human rights defender, it is now more evident than before that Vincent is in urgent need of help from colleagues in the human rights fraternity to receive adequate mental health and counseling. It is on record that Mr. Nuwagaba has been admitted into Butabika Hospital more than twice. He has assaulted a Police Officer at CPS and another at the UHRC Head Office who had to seek medical attention for wounds inflicted upon them after being bitten by Mr. Nuwagaba. Mr. Nuwagaba has for instance made it a habit to come to the office premises of UHRC to disrupt work, physically attack the security personnel at the premises, hurl insults and even threaten violence against senior officials of UHRC. He has been making all manner of wild allegations which have most often than not smacked of personal vendetta. The Commission is weary of his incoherent and sometimes violent behavior which has landed him in and out of Butabika Hospital and police cells.

Given the above observations therefore, one would be tempted to dismiss Mr. Nuwagaba’s consistent attacks on the UHRC as an institution and its leadership as the work of an unstable and delusional mind. Someone reading Mr. Nuwagaba’s recent piece can also see undertones of personal vendetta against particular individuals and incoherent and unfocused but sometimes seemingly calculated derogatory statements. In the same article Mr. Nuwagaba in his characteristic hysterical style gives a litany of his view on areas of human rights concerns which the UHRC has not addressed to his satisfaction. Such areas according to him span from University tuition, alleged human rights violations in detention centers, access to health services, timely access to justice and unemployment among many others. He fails or deliberately refuses to realize that the Uganda Human Rights Commission has made a contribution in many of the areas he points out.

Noting, however, that Mr Nuwagaba’s attacks on the Commission have not only been consistent and calculated to target specific individuals but have been deliberately widely disseminated including using the social media, the Commission has been prompted to make clarifications on some of the allegations for the benefit of the public and especially those who may not know what Mr. Vincent Nuwagaba is currently experiencing:

1. Award for Best Africa National Human Rights Institution
The Uganda Human Rights Commission received an award as the best National Human Rights Institution from the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights during a Special Session held in Yamoussoukro, Cote d’ Ivoire to commemorate the 25th Anniversary of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights. Some of the benchmarks that were used for selecting the winners included among others compliance with the Paris Principles; level of commitment to the promotion and protection of human rights, and the strengthening of democracy and good governance at the national level through its educational role to the public; advisory role to the government, including regarding the ratification of the international treaties and the harmonization of national laws with international treaty obligation and the level of commitment and partnership with other local human rights stakeholders; and level of cooperation with international, regional and national institutions that are competent in the areas of the promotion of human rights. In addition, the Uganda Human Rights Commission currently holds an ‘A’ status given by the United Nation’s International Coordinating Committee for National Human Rights Institutions.

Although Mr. Nuwagaba is oblivious of the important contribution that the UHRC has made to the promotion and protection of human rights in Uganda, there are very many clear headed people who recognize the tremendous work of the Commission, albeit the many challenges we face. Mr. Nuwagaba and his sponsors are however entitled to their own opinion.

2. Slow resolution of human rights violations by UHRC
The Commission wishes to clarify that the function to receive and resolve human rights complaints is a process and therefore cannot be concluded in a day or week. The process for instance involves carrying out investigations to establish facts, seeking out responses from the accused side and contacting other institutions or individuals relevant to the case. Cases forwarded for hearing at the tribunal also go through rigorous procedures before they are concluded. These processes are hinged on the principles of natural justice which may sometimes slow down the delivery of justice.

We also wish to clarify that although the Commission orders the payment of awards to victims of human rights violations through its tribunal decisions, it does not have a budget to pay the victims because this is outside its mandate. The Commission has however over the years recommended and lobbied government to create a compensation fund for victims of human rights violations and we are optimistic that government will sooner than later be in position to embrace the proposal.

3. Allegation that UHRC fights Human Rights Defenders
The allegation that UHRC fights human rights defenders who are critical of government’s poor human rights record is as wild as it sounds. The Commission itself is a human rights defender and is cognizant of fact that it is the lead agency in the promotion and protection of human rights in Uganda. In recognition of its important role, the Commission set up a Human Rights Defenders Desk last year based at its Head Office to handle matters of human rights defenders in Uganda. The Commission has spearheaded partnerships with other human rights defenders mainly CSOs in carrying out joint human rights advocacy campaigns. These partnerships have yielded successes such as the enactment of the Ant-Torture law this year and joint human rights advocacy campaigns, to mention but a few.

4. UHRC Visits to detention places
Inspection of detention places is one the core mandates of the Commission which we boast of performing to the best of our ability within the resources available. The Commission has compiled and published details of the number, location, action taken and recommendations for improvement of places of detention visited in its annual reports presented to Parliament. Mr. Nuwagaba is advised to appraise himself with this information which can be found in the 14 annual reports so far published by the Commission since inception and on the UHRC website

UHRC wishes to inform the public and to remind Mr. Nuwagaba that in fulfillment of its Constitutional mandate, it has visited most of the detention places referred to in his article such as Kitalya Prison Farm on Mityana road which is miles away from the UHRC Head office and not ‘a stone throw away’ from UHRC Head office as he alleges. The Commission is happy to note that it has taken immediate corrective measures during such visits where necessary such as release of some prisoners who have stayed beyond the Constitutional mandatory period. The Commission has also held on the spot meetings with prison officials to raise issues that require immediate attention and has in addition made recommendations to both institutions and government for long term improvements of those human rights concerns identified in the detention places.

5. Allegation that UHRC has tortured Mr. Nuwagaba
Allegations that Mr. Nuwagaba has been tortured on the orders of the UHRC Secretary to the Commission Mr. G.T Mwesigye are false and a figment of Mr. Nuwagaba’s imagination. Mr. Nuwagaba knows very well that the UHRC premises are guarded by Police who are charged with ensuring the safety of all UHRC staff and property. It is therefore the duty of the Police at UHRC to keep vagabonds out of the premises and to apprehend anyone whose behavior is seen to breach peace and safety of staff and property at UHRC.

The Commission receives a number of visitors at its offices seeking assistance in various ways. One wonders why it is only Mr. Nuwagaba who keeps alleging that he is tortured. The Uganda Human Rights Commission wishes to reiterate its earlier assertion that none of its staff has ordered the Police to subject its visitors to torture, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment and least of all Mr. Vincent Nuwagaba whose condition is well known to us and most of the human rights defenders in Kampala. We are for instance aware that Mr. Nuwagaba has recently accosted and hurled insults at Mr. Patrick Tumwine of the Human Rights Network, Uganda at a workshop in the Imperial Royale Hotel, Kampala; prompting the organisers to throw him out of the meeting.

6. Allegation of partisan officials at UHRC
We wish to assure Mr. Nuwagaba and the public at large that the Uganda Human Rights Commission offers equal employment opportunities to all Ugandans and hires staff on merit. The Commission has a well laid out, competitive and transparent system for recruitment of staff. Mr. Nuwagaba’s allegations are therefore false, unfounded and leave us with no option but to believe that they are intended to malign the good name of the Commission. Mr. Nuwagaba’s articles and encounters with UHRC officials have been for most of the time characterized by derogatory statements and bordering on a hate campaign against particular individuals. One wonders whether this is part of his agenda as a self-acclaimed human rights defender!

7. UHRC position on topical human rights issues
The Uganda Human Rights Commission has over the years endeavoured to offer guidance to government, government agencies and the general public on emerging human rights issues that have had a bearing on enjoyment of human rights in Uganda. The Commission has issued statements on a number of human rights concerns through recommendations in its reports, the media and its website. Such issues range from freedom of expression, personal liberties, right to life , respect for the rule of law, rights of minorities, right to health, right to education, rights of children, rights of detainees, call for quick access to justice, respect of human rights by security agencies and call for respect of civic duties by citizens among many others. In addition to public statements, the Commission also uses quiet diplomacy and lobbying of key government agencies to raise topical human rights concerns and to secure their commitment to the observance of human rights in the country. It is therefore not true that the Commission has been keeping quiet on important human rights issues. Mr. Nuwagaba is advised to cross check the facts before making sweeping statements intended to bring the Commission into disrepute.

8. Conclusion
In conclusion therefore, Mr. Nuwagaba is advised to come to terms with his situation and deal with it squarely. We urge all people of good will and those known to him to encourage him to accept his predicament and urgently seek medical attention. We at the Commission appreciate his passion for human rights in this country but caution that his crusade may not yield much if he does not act like someone who is mentally stable. The Uganda Human Rights Commission also wishes to advise Mr. Nuwagaba to avoid making visits to UHRC Head office intended to deliberately disrupt peace and hurl insults at UHRC officials. The Commission would like to sound a serious warning to Mr. Nuwagaba that if he is bent on causing disruption and breach of safety and peace at the UHRC under the guise of being a human rights defender, the security personnel at UHRC premises will not hesitate to sternly deal with him in line with law.

Finally, the Commission recognizes the fact that it is the only National Human Rights Institution in Uganda and will always remain so. It is UHRC’s firm conviction therefore, that there is no need for it to compete for supremacy with any other organization in Uganda. The Uganda Human Rights Commission therefore once again assures its partners and the general public that it is fully committed to the fulfillment of its mandate of promoting and protecting human rights of all Ugandans as clearly provided under the 1995 Constitution of the Republic of Uganda, within the resources available to it. The Commission will not be deterred by irresponsible and redundant statements by detractors masquerading as human rights defenders.

Florence M. Munyirwa,
Public Affairs Manager,
Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC)

I CAN’T BELIEVE THIS@ Uganda wins human rights award

Vincent Nuwagaba

The Uganda Human Rights Commission promotes human rights in the breach
I was awestruck to watch on Television on 26th October that the Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC) won a continental award as the leading National Human Rights Institution (NHRI). I would like to state from the outset that, if indeed UHRC is a leading NHRI in Africa; all NHRIs are promoting human rights in the breach for that is what the UHRC does best.

In the wake of the heartless increment of fees in public universities in 2009, I wrote to the president opposing the increment. I ended up in jail on trumped up charges of assault and threatening violence. I also wrote a petition to parliament which I copied to the Uganda Human Rights Commission. Later, at the launch of the 12th Uganda Human Rights Commission report at Imperial Royale Hotel, I asked the UHRC Chairperson Mr. Med Kaggwa whether the heartless increment was not a violation of article 30 of the constitution and other human rights instruments that provide for the right to education. Mr. Kaggwa brashly stated that the increment of fees up to 126% was alright. He further stated that he was on the university council of Kyambogo University and that they had found it appropriate to have such an increment. Prompted by Kaggwa’s response, Kaggwa’s close friend, human rights activist JK Zirabamuzale walked out of the function in protest.

Upon the increment of tuition fees, many students failed to enroll and up to this day very many continue to drop out. Remember Uganda’s Universities and other Tertiary Institutions Act states that a public university is maintained out of state funds. That notwithstanding, the well-connected students get statehouse scholarships whose access is arbitrary. The statehouse scholarships are only given to sons and daughters of top NRM members and leaders, children of those that went to the bush between 1981 to 1986 and NRM mobilisers. Taxpayers’ money used to build capacity for the ruling party! Such a practice, the UHRC cannot decry.

It is a principle of natural justice that justice delayed is justice denied. However, the UHRC takes up to ten years to conclude complaints before it. Yet the awards by the UHRC are rarely paid by the government. Ultimately, it is a travesty of justice.
The Commission fights human rights defenders who are critical of the government’s poor human rights record.

I would like to ask the following questions: how often does the Commission visit police cells? How come we have people who spend months in the police cells? How often does the commission visit prison farms? How come the commission has never condemned the besieging of the Constitutional Square by the police and the military since 2011? How come the Commission has never championed the translation of the Ugandan Constitution into local languages as provided for under article 4? How can UHRC be the leading NHRI when more than 90% don’t know their rights? The registration of NGOs is frustrated by among others RDCs and ISO operatives who sit on the NGO Board and the UHRC keeps mum.

In 2009 amid the protests occasioned by the blockage of Kabaka Mutebi’s visit to his subjects in Kayunga, the government banned open air radio programmes a.k.a Bimezza. These are the programmes through which the ordinary Ugandan would express his/her views and vent their sentiments hence making contribution to governance. The commission has never been forthright and upfront in condemning such an error.

I know well the UHRC
When I am writing about the Uganda Human Rights Commission, I am writing about the organization that I know inside out. When it comes to prisoners’ rights, very many prisoners are maimed and some killed from the prison farms. In Kitalya prison farm which is just a stone throw away from the UHRC Head Quarters in Kampala, prisoners are subjected to the worst forms of torture. If a prisoner digs and gets tired and cannot dig anymore, they dig a pit and bury his entire body vertically apart from the head. I have been a prisoner in Murchison Bay Hospital which is the national referral hospital. Right now if one visited Ward One of Murchison Bay Hospital, many patients are casualties as a result of maiming by the prisons staff.

Many if not all of the people tried by the military courts have their rights flagrantly and blatantly violated. What does the UHRC do? The Commission just looks on. The statement of Martin Luther King Jr that at last we shall not remember the oppression of our enemies but the silence of our friends always rings in mind.

Talk about civil and political rights. It is common practice in Uganda for the police to proscribe the activities of opposition political parties. Even non-state actors such as civil society organizations have their activities curtailed. The Inspector General of Police has blood in his hands. But the UHRC as usual ranks the police as the leading human rights violator but never recommends that Gen Kale Kayihura be brought to book. Impunity is the order of the day in Uganda. I have stated in the Ugandan media that the Police Force is the provocation force and that the Inspector General of Police is now the Inspector General of Provocation. There’s no single moment when Ugandans have ever woken up with a view to riot. But each time we have demonstrations morph into riots it is as a result of police provocation. What annoys so much is that the guns that the Ugandan Police use to kill civilians are bought using taxpayers’ money.

When it comes to socio-economic rights, one can rightly assert that they are completely deficient. The national referral Hospital, Mulago is a deathbed. The only people who get quality services are those who afford to go into the private wing, there are almost no drugs in all health centres countrywide, all civil servants are paid peanuts, the few jobs created are a preserve of Museveni’s friends and relatives’ children; teachers, lawyers, traders, students, university lecturers and all sorts of categories of the Ugandan people have gone on strike saying “Twakowa embera embi” meaning we are tired of depraved conditions. Today, university graduates have either turned con artists or iron bar hit men in order to survive. Kampala’s Executive Director Jennifer Musiisi has destroyed all the livelihood of the ordinary city dwellers and they are now turning into robbers. Just recently, Jennifer Musiisi burned the property of street vendors. When you go to Luzira, majority of the inmates are on the charges of idle and vagabond. It is a pity that Ugandans who have been dispossessed and deprived can be taken to be idle and vagabond in their own country.

While in Murchison Bay prison, I decried the fact that people who are looking for jobs and where to stay are taken to jail on idle and vagabond charges and a Grade One Magistrate who happened to be a remand in the same prison told me that the reason why people are charged with those senseless charges is because the factories that would absorb both the educated and the uneducated were destroyed by the current regime. He added that the government has driven its citizens into hopelessness and despair and now it feels it can only be safe when the unemployed citizens are in jail.

As a matter of fact, the Foundation for Human Rights Initiative under the stewardship of Livingstone Sewanyana far outshines the UHRC when it comes to human rights work. The newly formed Human Rights Centre under the stewardship of former UHRC Chairperson Margaret Ssekaggya is also doing a better job than UHRC. Yet the UHRC is allotted funds from state coffers and gets lots of donor funding.

Personally, I have suffered; I have been tormented, dehumanized, brutalized and subjected to pharmacological torture at the orders of the UHRC secretary Gordon Mwesigye. I have also been dispossessed of my belongings within the premises of the UHRC and my complaints with the police have been disregarded. I have filed a complaint with Kampala CPS under SD Ref 63/26/9/2012. Nothing has been done. What they have done instead is to dump me into a mental hospital to ensure I die from there akin to what used to happen in the former Soviet Union. After failing to kill me using drugs, they have resorted to malicious prosecution. What I find amazing is that they label me insane when it suits them and vehemently state that I am totally sane when they want to dump me in police cells and prison. I have never seen invidious and fiendish institutions such as the UHRC, the Uganda Police Force, and the Courts of judicature and Butabika Mental Hospitals under Musevenocracy. All institutions are used, abused and misused to ensure Museveni’s continued hold onto power even when it is clearly evident that the law of diminishing marginal utility has set in.

The problem is partly the use of ruling party cadres
Part of the reasons as to why the UHRC cannot inspire hope is because its staff – both members of the secretariat and the commissioners are not appointed on merit. It is virtually impossible for anybody who doesn’t belong to the ruling NRM to get a job at the commission. The Commission’s technical and administrative head is Gordon Mwesigye UHRC’s permanent secretary. He is not only a staunch NRM cadre but also hails from the same place with the president and share the same Hiima ethnic background. It is clear that in all Mwesigye studied; he has never studied human rights but also has no regard for human dignity. He is there to promote the interests of Museveni and spy on human rights defenders.

As for the chairperson Med Kaggwa, he is knowledgeable about human rights but he is entrapped by the fact that he has to please his boss. It vital to note that he was appointed after failing to make it to parliament and the position was given to him as a transaction for his unwavering support for president Museveni. Ultimately, even when he is knowledgeable about human rights his unquestionable loyalty to Museveni not the state makes him fail to promote and defend human rights. We have had so many people who perpetrate lawlessness and human rights violations just because of their blind loyalty to the president. The late Noble Mayombo was a lawyer with good grades but presided over grave human rights violations and torture as a Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence Director; Edward Kale Kayihura is a lawyer with a masters degree but what he does is horrid; David Tinyefuza until recently was one of the most ruthless creatures in Uganda yet he is also a lawyer. The list goes on and on.
Finally, if indeed the UHRC is the best NHRI, we either have NHRIs in Africa or all of them do the antithesis of what their raison d’etre is. I am fully convinced that without regime change, Uganda’s human rights record will continue to deteriorate not to be better.

Mr. Nuwagaba is a human rights defender

The Killing of Muslims in Uganda must be challenged


This kind of complacence where some fool with AK47 can wake up and just kill any Muslim and then go away without even anyone chasing them is joke. It is a joke because no one in Uganda can kill any Muhima or NRM people and then walks away just like that.

Ugandans must challenge these killings in all ways possible. We give power to our tormentors and that is exactly what motivates them. Once these oppressors succeed by killing with impunity for the first time, they find it easy to do it again and again.

Ugandans must challenge these murders in all ways possible. Someone needs to do some home work here. The home work includes studying;

Why these Muslim’s are being killed?
Who benefits from their death?
How are they chosen?
Apart from religion, what else do the victims have in common?
Is there any obvious causal links between NRM’s ideology of power -consolidation,domination plus monopoly and these killings?
What does the killer’s mindset likely to be?
Do the killings appear professional one’s or amateurish?
Is there any signature in these murders?
Did the victims knew each other?

Once we establish the above, we can build up the profile of the killer/s and then be able to point the right finger at them.

I call upon any volunteers to go to Uganda and secretly study these murders. We need to learn from the outcomes of this study and even use them for future purposes.


I told Oyite Ojok to Kill Bazilio Okello but he messed about. Now NRM are in power- Says UAH’s Okello George

Oyite Ojok

Oyite Ojok

Dear Ugandans at heart,
I personally advised the late General David Oyite Ojok to arrest Bazilio Okello and if necessary kill him. This was in a 5 hour meeting I had with him and students of the UPC youth league in Lira Hotel in 1981. I also discussed with him a number of different issues, he was very engaging, a truly nice person and at the end of our meeting, he asked me to write a letter that he would pass on to President Obote since he could not himself make such a decision. President Obote never responded to my letter, I think because at the time I was involved in a student protest at the Law Development Centre of which I was the President of the Student’s Union. But this cancer of Bazilio was allowed to go on with totally disastrous consequences. This is my one major criticism of President Obote. In my letter to President Obote, I told him he needed to do three things:

Professionalize the army and that meant retiring people like Tito Okello and arresting Bazilio or killing him. And I said the army needed more educated people in its ranks, at the time the foot soldiers were mainly Acholi 90% of whom lacked even basic education and were largely illiterate.

End human rights abuses in the Buganda area. I told him very bluntly to remove all Acholi soldiers from Luwero and to replace them with soldiers from other regions of Uganda, particularly from Buganda itself, from Lango and from Teso and to recruit others from western Uganda. My reasoning was that the Acholi soldiers had totally destroyed the image and reputation of the UNLA in Buganda by their acts of vandalism, rape of civilians and plain terrorism. And I also advised for President Obote to arrest a notorious criminal likle Agetta who was responsible for the killing of so many innocent Baganda civilians including a couple at the Wandegeya roundabout after just a simple traffic accident. He shot them dead.

I advised President Obote to change his government in order to give it a cleaner image; for eg I said he needed to get rid of Masette Kuya who was always drunk in public.This is just a summary of what I wrote then.

President Obote implemented some of my suggestions, like for e.g, putting Colonel Ogole in charge of the Luwero brigade and recruitment of a completely new Special Forces unit formed mainly of soldiers from Teso and Eastern Uganda. But it was too late because Bazilio had already begun his rebellion.
After General Oyite died in a helicopter crash and colonel Ogole had defeated the bandit NRA forces in Luwero, Museveni had fled back to Sweden, but President Obote, instead of ordering the arrest or killing of Bazilio Okello did nothing.

I met President Obote at the crisis in 1985 and I told him, it was necessary to crush the Bazilio led rebellion in the north. Otherwise everything that Colonel Ogole had acheived in Luwero in defeating the NRA would be worthless. His argument all along was that he would never allow the Langi and Acholi to fight each, that he would rather leave power rather than see them fight each other. And he was very firm in that belief. Later on when Bazilio and his renegade soldiers stormed Kampala, it was people like Rwakasisi who actually saved President Obote because Bazilio would have killed him. And Rwakasisi payed a very heavy price. A Very heavy price.

I don’t have a copy of this letter because at the time I wrote it by hand and then took it to my sister to type, my sister who was so scared of typing such a document and never kept a copy but posted my letter to David Oyite Ojok. Maybe UPC headquarters will one day unearth it.

First UPC was not intent on murdering Ugandan people. It wanted to save the Ugandan people by improving their social and economic situation but its good intentions were interrupted by NRA bandits led by Museveni who embarked on a terrorist campaign composed of mainly murder. The main reason why the NRA was formed was to murder Ugandans and to loot its resources.

So faced with such a situation where there were several armed terrorists on the loose, creating all manner of havoc and chaos, robbing banks, blowing up electricity pillons, raping women and children, what did you expect the UPC government to do, but except to confront the terrorism? Any responsible government would take the measures that the UPC government did.

In the fight against terrorism, some crimes were committed by UNLA soldiers. And my advice to the government at the time was to improve discipline in the army, to better their living conditions and to professionalise the entire army itself by retiring octogenarian military commanders like Tito Okello and getting rid of Bazilio Okello altogether.

Around 200,000 people were murdered in Luwero, but this figure could have even been higher if Colonel Ogole had not managed to push Museveni and his NRA bandit forces out of Luwero. You have heard several times Otaffirre boasting that they would kill innocent civilians in the night-time and then blame it on the UNLA. Without firm action by Colonel Ogole maybe another 100,000 lives or more would have been lost, courtesy of the NRA brutal campaign of murder and terror.

My struggles within the UPC and against NRA bandit policy of murder and terror certainly saved hundreds of lives. And since then, I have played a very influential role internationally in combating the NRA terrorism, when they finally occupied Uganda when Bazilio and Otunnu handed over power to them. They wasted no time and immediately embarked on a war of extermination in eastern and northern Uganda and put virtually entire peasant communities in internment in gestapo concentration camps. They extended this terrorism to Rwanda, where 1 million people lost their lives and later on to DR Congo where more than 3 million people have lost their lives. This NRA bandit army set out on a course to wipe out entire communities and I did my best to alert the entire world about the program that was being inflicted on totally innocent Ugandan civilians and to help to stop it. I was tireless in these efforts.

As for Dr Mamdani, he was my friend, and I tried to help him out as a lawyer and not as a politician. I have not been in contact with Professor Mamdani for a long time, but I did work with him in the 1980’s when we co-edited FORWARD magazine, on and off quarterly marxist magazine. We had no money to publish the magazine on a regular basis and so a lot of the articles were written either by myself, Mamdani and a few other people in western Uganda and in Kampala, as well as students from Makerere University.
He did some research work on peasants in Lango for may be one month during which time he stayed in my home in Dokolo. Later on, he got into trouble with the UPC government and I remember him bringing some of his documents and stuff to me for safe-keeping on the night he fled again into exile.

I tried to find out from my UPC contacts why Professor Mamdani was considered a dangerous man. And I told them Dr Mamdani is a critic and there was no need to neither restrict nor sanction him. I took some legal measures to defend him when he was in exile. Professor Mamdani recommended me to be Africa Director of Human Rights Watch, when Rakiyya Ommar and others resigned over the dispute on American intervention in Somalia, a job I did not eventually get, I think it was a muganda man based in Washington who was appointed to the post.

Later on Professor Mamdani recommended me to several conferences and it was in one of these conferences in Nairobi, after my presentation on the human rights situation in Uganda, that the late Dr Okii-Ooko Ombaka, then the Director of the newly established Public Law Institute, approached me and told me there was a position for a Human Rights Lawyer in the Philippines if I was willing to take it. I said I would take it, because at that point, I had nowhere to go, I had just completed my Master’s degree in the UK and had no intention of going back to Uganda. Dr Ombaka took me to the late Professor Atieno Odhiambo, who was on the governing board of this international human rights organisation and he agreed to recommend my appointment to his board. They were very impressed with my conference presentation. So I ended up in the Philippines.

Much as I collaborated with Dr Mamdani, I don’t consider myself as his cadre. I have openly criticised Professor Mamdani before, but that has not stopped me from cooperating with him. I don’t think Dr Mamdani himself aspires for political power. But the truth is that he has influenced hundreds of students over the many years that he has been a teacher, and definitely a lot of these students will become leaders, whether in the UPC or other political parties. So UPC has nothing to be frightened of, we should debate him instead. Afterall, as I have narrated above, the man has interacted with me over many years at an intellectual, political and personal level.

Many thanks,
George O Pacu-Otto

%d bloggers like this: