MPs want Nalufenya torture chamber closed

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A glimpse of a torture chamber at Nalufenya police station, a detention centre, located in Jinja district

Members of Parliament have demanded for the immediate closure of torture chambers situated at Nalufenya Police Station in Jinja district.

Late last year, the Inspector General of Police, Gen Kale Kayihura, relocated Flying Squad Unit (FSU) from Kampala to Nalufenya detention centre citing limited space and loss of credibility.

However, Buhweju county MP, Hon. Francis Mwijukye, these officers tortured to death in Nalufenya including a one brother of lawyer Asumani Basalirwa.

Speaking during a special plenary session presided over by Speaker Rebecca Kadaga, Mwijukye said that lawyers and relatives were denied access to clients and relatives in Nalufenya, where authorities asking them “to contact Kampala.”

Mwijukye recommended that the Nalufenya detention facility be closed.

The Government Chief Whip, Hon. Ruth Nankabirwa, said that government did not condone torture and that the perpetrators of torture must be charged for among others, tarnishing the image of government.

The Speaker demanded that the Minister of Internal Affairs immediately also presents a statement giving its actions about the suspects implicated in the torture.

She also said that children below 12 have no criminal liability and cannot be detained.

She added that whoever was detaining the children must be charged with a felony, as provided for under the Penal Code Act.

Kadaga noted that those who tortured the Mayor of Kamwenge Town Council, Geoffrey Byamukama, committed crimes against humanity and should be prosecuted in courts of law.

The Minister of Internal Affairs, Hon. Obiga Kania said that Police had arrested four people suspected of being involved in the torture and that investigations were continuing.

He promised that when investigations are compete, a comprehensive statement would be presented to the House.

Members however, wondered why suspects had to be taken to Nalufenya or Kireka rather not the other gazette areas as ordered by court.

Hon. Muwanga Kivumbi (DP, Butambala) said information about torture in Kisugu, Kireka, Kololo and Nalufenya had been passed on to the Minister of Internal Affairs during a meeting of the Committee on Defence and Internal Affairs.

Kabaziguruka confirms Nalufenya torture chambers

Speaking to NBS television Wednesday morning, Nakawa Municipality MP, Micheal Kabaziguruka, who was recently detained at the same facility for alleged treachery, confirmed the presence of torture chambers.

“Nalufenya has group cells; if you are badly tortured, they isolate you and casually treat your wounds before going to court,” Kabaziguruka said during the “NBS TV morning breeze” programme.

He said the torture reports about Nalufenya are true and has interacted with some people who have been tortured.

“I didn’t witness people being tortured at Nalufenya because I was in an isolated cell but I witness torture in Kireka.”

While at Nalufenya, Kabaziguruka was denied medical access and the people he was arrested with “were physically beaten and tortured”.

“While I was there, I was not physically torture but psychologically.”

Torture in other safe houses  

John Njoroge, a Consultant at Private Media Consultant and Newspaper Managing Editor at The CEO Magazine, retells of how many Ugandans have been tortured in safe houses.

The first torture victim he ever encountered was Ronald Kasekende, a strong FDC supporter, who was abducted on suspicion of treason, theft, rape and robbery.

His captors, according to Njoroge, at one point even tried to forge a military number to claim Kasekende was a deserter. He was tortured for almost a year at a Kololo based safe house.

Njoroge says Nalufenya, or what is commonly known as NILE FERRY is really nothing. “There are places next to your homes that are worse. Nalufenya is a gym for exercise where the ones starting to do tests”.

“The people doing these acts are very pleasant people in Public. Family men and woman, humble and very humorous others very generous too. Inside them however lingers a deadly desire for blood.”