Besigye appeals to Kabila again on Sam Mugumya detention

Sam Mugumya

Former Forum for Democratic Change [FDC] President, Kizza Besigye, has finally broken words on the continued arrest without trial of his former aide, Sam Mugumya.

Besigye notes that Mugumya has been held in illegal detention in Democratic Republic of Congo for more than 3 years without even being accorded consular services.

Consular assistance is help and advice provided by the diplomatic agents of a country to citizens of that country who are living or traveling overseas.

Such assistance may take the form of: provision of replacement travel documents, advice and support in the case of an accident, serious illness or death.

Besigye’s complaint is directed at the Uganda ministry of Foreign Affairs, Congo President Joseph Kabila and Human Rights Watch which fights for the rights of individuals.

In 2014, Besigye wrote to Kabila to carefully and diplomatically handle Mugumya’s matters in conformity with internationally accepted standards.

Besigye said the arrest of Mugumya and his illegal detention was intended to gag political activism in the country by the state which he said would not stop them but instead energise them for more activism.

A week ago, Mugumya asked the Congolese government to kill him and his fellow Ugandan detainees if it cannot give them any justice.

“We wish to request that if we cannot be tried, released or repatriated back to Uganda, then we should be killed and bring this matter to an end then we go to our creator and forever be free,” Mugumya wrote.

This is contained in a letter dated August 21 to the Congolese minister of Justice based in the capital Kinshasa protesting their continued detention without trial.

The others are Stephen Mugisha, Agrey Kamukama, Joseph Kamugisha and Bright Nathan. They have been prisoners in Ndolo Military Prison following their arrest four years ago.

Mugumya told the minister that they even tried to get information from the Ugandan government to no avail. Government referred their relatives to the Congolese embassy in Uganda and to the Foreign Affairs minister, Sam Kahamba Kutesa.

The group is accused of allegedly supporting rebels but Mugumya says should be tried so they can defend themselves in court or killed if that’s not possible.

In June this year, Congo authorities served Mugumya with notice of intention to shift him and his colleagues from Ndolo military prison to the eastern capital of Beni where they will determine his fate.