The families of detained Rwandan nationals are calling on the government of Uganda to expedite a speedy trial of their relatives.
Speaking at a press conference in Kampala on Tuesday through their lawyer, Eron Kiiza, they said their relatives have been subjected to various kinds of torture and dehumanizing treatment all outlawed by the Uganda constitution. Those arrested include; Claude Iyakerenya, Augustine Rutayisire and Emmanuel Rwamuchyo.
“They were beaten badly and later taken to the General Court Martial in Makindye where charges of being found with guns were brought against them and then remanded to Luzira prisons until October 22,” Kiiza said.
He wondered why they should be tried in a Military court yet they are civilians. Kiiza also denunciated the Court Martial for disobeying the orders of the High court that had ordered for the unconditional release of Rwamuchyo and Rutayisire because of their illegal detention. He said this fragrant disobeying of court orders is a recipe for anarchy.
Betty Mutumba, the wife of Rutayisire said she is troubled by the continued incarceration of her husband on what she calls tramped up charges.
“My husband is a businessman who has nothing to do with guns. I really don’t know what exact crime he committed but what I now is that he is our sole bread winner. I don't know what to tell my children who keep on asking me the whereabouts of their father,” Mutumba said.
She urged the court to release her husband on bail like it has done to other people like the former inspector general of police Kale Kayihura.
“It has been three months now since my husband was arrested in Uganda. I have to travel from Kigali to Kampala to attend court sessions which are wearing me down. I call upon court to grant my husband bail because it is his constitutional right,” Mutumba said.
Kiiza added that denying his clients bail yet it is being given to others is a clear sign of discrimination.
“I call upon the Chief of Defence Forces, Gen David Muhoozi, to ensure that his officers refrain from torturing people and respect their fundamental human rights and court orders. We also demand that they return Shs 50m which was confiscated by the officers in Mbarara Makeke barracks,” Kiiza said.
Uganda and Rwanda have lately had a frozen relationship resulting from under the carpet accusations that each side might be supporting elements within each other’s country to cause regime change.
In fact, the General Court Martial is trying a couple of senior police officers including the former IGP Kale Kayihura of working with Rwandan elements to send back refugees who had run away from the alleged Kagame’s iron-fist rule.