The family of jailed Assistant Commissioner of police Joel Aguma the former commandant police professional standards unit were last month in the news demanding for the release of their own.
Led by Dokolo South MP Felix Okot Ogong, they want the “son of Lango” released claiming that he was a sole breadwinner and that right now his children are not going to school yet the families of those he kidnapped and forcefully handed over to Rwanda government and killed are also facing the same.
Abudul Karim Mukombozi a Uganda Peoples defense forces soldier who was kidnapped alongside Mutabazi in Kamengo in his ordeal says that on 25th October 2013, he received a movement order from Bombo indicating that he had been transferred to Masaka.
On his way, he met a one Karemera Jackson looking for a taxi to Mutukula.
Mukombozi says he had met him before at Kampala International University during the Inter University games.
“We chatted a bit and decided to share a ride in my car. He contributed UGX 200,000 in fuel. He requested that we pick up his brother at Sky Hotel. I drove there with him, we picked up his brother who was not known to me and we set off”.
“When we were about 200 metres from Kamengo Police Post, a police patrol car stopped us. The police officers asked us for identification and I provided them with my driving permit.
The other occupants of the car provided them with their asylum seeker papers which they had been issued as temporary ID for them as refugees”
“The police officers requested us to get out. They searched the car and found a small bag containing 2 trousers, 1 t-shirt and a Bible.
They asked us to get out and sit on the roadside. One of them called someone to say that he had caught 2 Rwandans: Lt. Mutabaazi Joel and Karemera Jackson”.
“As we waited, Lt. Mutabaazi begged the officers not to hand him over to the Rwandans, saying that he was afraid of his life. All the police officers ignored him. An hour later, another small police car came with one passenger dressed in plain clothing arrived”.
“The person handcuffed the 3 of us to each other. He also made a call to say he had got 2 Rwandese and Ugandan driver. After a while, a white Ipsum car with 6 occupants also arrived at the scene.
One of the occupants used a torch to see them and identify them. They took all of us, still handcuffed together, to the Ipsum and showed us a lot of guns and military fatigues.
They then asked where we had been taking them. Because of the scuffle, the officers at the nearby police post took interest, but did nothing because the officers who had us in their custody were senior in rank. Among them was the OC CID of Kamengo”.
“After they had shown us the things in the back of the Ipsum, the occupants of the car got back in and also pushed us back in. One of the occupants of the Ipsum who sat at the front opened the glove compartment and gave the officer who had come in a lone vehicle a pouch full of money that was in dollars. He instructed him to share the money with his soldiers.”
“He then asked him what kind of identification I had apart from my driving permit.
When the officer admitted that he had not checked me, they took me out of the car and checked me. When they found my movement order and UPDF ID, one of them slapped me across the face and asked if I worked for CMI. I denied being in CMI.
The officer who had come in a small car started taking pictures of my vehicle. He then handed me over to the OC/CID Kamengo and gave him a business card for future calls.
The Ipsum drove off while I was taken to the nearby Kamengo Police station”
“When we got to the police station, the OC CID gave all the occupants of the police cells at the time police bond so that I could be held alone.
I spent the night in the cells. In the morning, he called me into his office and asked me why I was driving a stolen car. I explained that I had bought it at the car bond and it was brand new. When he asked where I got the money, I explained that my sister who lives in Sweden had sent me the money and I even had the bank statements to prove this. In my presence, the OC CID then checked the card the officer in a lone car had given him the previous night.
He exclaimed out loud: “Oh! Aguma Joel is now a Commissioner!” This is how I discovered the officer’s name”.
“After answering questions, the OC CID put me back in the cell.
At about 4:00 pm, the Ipsum that had been at the scene the previous night returned, with the two gentlemen I had been with gone. The OC released me from the cell and handed me over to the occupants of the Ipsum. They handcuffed me, covered my head with a cloth, and put me in the Ipsum”.
“They then drove in a direction I believed to be towards Kampala. Immediately the car started moving, they started piercing me with objects I could not understand. They also burnt me, and I believe they used a cigarette to do this because I could feel a burning sensation but the fire would take long to go out. They kept asking me if I knew the two gentlemen I had been moving with the previous evening when they found us. I insisted that I had not known them, but the piercing, beating, and burning continued”.
“When we got to Kampala, they took me to the CID headquarters. I heard one of them talking to a person I believed to be a Rwandan official, explaining that if I had known something, I would have spoken as they had done all they could. They then drove me to various police stations, looking for a place to leave me.
They took me to Central police station on Buganda Road, Wandegeya Police station, Jinja Road, Kira Road, and finally Kira Division police stations. One of them, whose name I later came to learn was Magada, would accompany me to the receiving desk to ask for me to be held for vehicle theft”.
“He himself is a police officer in Uganda. He is among the policemen who were arrested recently. At the receiving desk, the officers would refuse to receive me because I was in bad shape and they wanted me to get some first aid.
The people I was wit refused to give me any sort of treatment for the wounds they had inflicted. This is why we went to many police stations that night. Eventually, one of them called the IGP, who told them to take me to Kira Division”.
“While we were in the car, I heard someone say “Renee, you have to stay here. Us we are lucky. We are headed home.”
“I was held alone in the cell and for the first few days, they would spray teargas in the cell to check if I was alive.
I requested to be arraigned before court on multiple occasions but nobody listened. I asked the DPC to give me permission to report to UPDF, but he refused. I even lied that I was required to sign a slip to get a salary but the DPC did not give me permission to let my employer know where I was”
“About two weeks later, people I believe to be Rwandese officials came to pick me up in the middle of the night but the police officers on duty were unaware of the arrangement their bosses had and refused to let them in”.
“I was in the police cells for 3 months. Once, the lady who would bring food to the police station told me that some people had asked her to poison me. I continued to live in fear, having a few snacks from money that other detainees would share with me. One day, a certain gentleman who had been arrested for drunk driving was thrown into my cell.
We got talking and I found out that he lived in Bweyogerere. I immediately asked him about Capt. Mushabe, who was living in Bweyogerere at the time and was my friend and colleague. The gentleman accepted to take to the Captain a message I wrote “Inform Kandiho Abel and UPDF authorities that I was kidnapped.”
“When Capt. Mushabe received my message, he immediately came to visit. He started bringing me food because I was really badly off.
He informed my family and started bringing me food. With his help, my family got a lawyer called Ladislaus Rwakafuuzi to file a habeas corpus application for my release. When the police found out about this, I was driven to SIU Kireka.
Detective Wacha, who was the liaison with CMI interrogated me and I told him my ordeal. He then took me to CMI and officials there interrogated me again. They then returned me to Kira Police station, and later back to CMI”.
“ I was now being held at CMI, but getting treated well. While I was there, a member of the Rwandan special forces named Kagabo Nathan came disguised as a cellmate to kill me.
However, we became friends and he told me about the ploy and even showed me the poison he was supposed to use. He also told me about the different assassinations he had carried out”
“When Kagabo did not kill me, they decided to try to get me to “escape” from the hospital where I had been admitted to get more treatment.
I refused to leave because I knew they would shoot me and lie that I had tried to escape. The doctors also agreed with me because I had confided in them about my fears.”
“I was finally released on 14th February 2014. The UPDF also returned my car to me. Kagabo Nathan also got out of the cell and found a place to hide with my help.
A few days, I asked about him just to see the response and they lied that he had been deported”.
“I still do not feel safe. People I believe to be members of the Rwandan Special forces opened up a shop near my home in Kasubi.
The shop is always empty but remains open. An unmarked car with ordinary plates UAY 308 F has been following me around. My investigations revealed that the car is used for police investigations and is attached to a phone number 0713 044 555”.
“Even in Kireka where my wife and child stay, they have seen some strange people around the home.
I want justice for the way I was mistreated, but I am also worried that my life is in danger”. Mukombozi wrote before he was kidnapped and killed in Rwanda.