MP Karuhanga: How we got arrested
Ntungamo Municipality MP Gerald Karuhanga is among the more than 30 opposition supporters and journalists who were arrested with Kyadondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine.
After the High Court in Gulu granted them bail, Karuhanga narrated his prison ordeal to journalists. BRIDGET ASIIME recorded the youthful MP’s narration.
Below are the excerpts.
We were at the hotel after the rally, then, we saw a police truck with policemen and a few other non-uniformed men, driving at a very supersonic speed.
Initially, we thought they were bypassing our hotel and then they jumped off as soon as they reached the hotel, they started shooting randomly.
So we all landed on the ground and literally started crawling into our hotel rooms.
It wasn’t a long time and then they started kicking, beating us and hitting us with gun buts.
We were thrown on the trucks and taken to Arua Central Police Station.
While there, we learn that Bobi Wine’s driver had been shot dead and we wondered what was going on.
At that point, we couldn’t communicate because none of us still had phones.
Soon thereafter, they brought in Hon Zaake.
Hon Zaake was just maybe one or two minutes away from his death, he was convulsing, he was hit he could hardly understand anyone.
I tried to reach him such that I could talk to him and he could not even recognize us.
So the only word he said when I said its Karuhanga was oxygen, oxygen, oxygen… at that point he was literally gone.
Then, we started shouting at the policemen; making a lot of noise because at this point we were about 40 arrested.
They brought an ambulance and rushed him to hospital.
Then what happened thereafter was very unbelievable scenes; seeing Special Forces Command (SFC) who came in to pick us from police.
We couldn’t really understand what was going on and we knew that probably they wanted to take us and bring us back in the same state they had brought Hon Zaake.
I think because we were already in thr police records, the police seemed not to be agreeing.
So they came the first time, came the second time and came the third time and eventually at about 2am, they said we get out of the police cell and then we were dumped in vehicles and driven at a supersonic speed to Gulu Central Police Station.
In there was the worst; worst experience I have had in my entire life.
We were thrown in a very tiny cell, slept on cement for three nights, they kept chasing people who were coming to visit and bring us something to eat until I think on one or two occasions when they were really worried that we could die of hunger in there.
Later, on the third day, we were taken to court and were remanded to Gulu Prison having been charged with treason; unbelievable charge… that some people claimed that we had thrown stones at the presidential convoy which we didn’t see or meet all in these campaigns or the processions.
So we kept in Prison for over eleven days until, now before we left Prison, about three days ago, Hon Kyagulanyi Bobi Wine was brought to join us in a very very unbelievable state.
He was beaten, he was tortured, you could see the pain he was in, you could see the bruises, the marks on his body, and you could even see him physically that he was in such a deep pain. He narrated his story, it was the worst story you could probably listen to, how he was tortured by the Special Forces, taken to the airfield and then frown to Gulu and then flown to Kampala and then all sorts of injections and all sorts of drugs they were injecting him with.
Really seeing him and telling us his story you could not believe that he was still the same person actually still with us.
You could see colleagues who were in much deeper pain, there was a lady who was tortured and all this time we were in prison, we were in separate cells but we were certainly trying to follow what happening to each other.
That lady was bleeding from her private parts, all this time, including just up to yesterday.
So that’s how she was terribly tortured.
There was another gentleman called Atiku Shaban, his back was shuttered into pieces, we really need to pray that he gets the proper, the most proper of medical attention such that he can recover quickly.