BY RACHEL OMBAKA.
Bobi Wine who left Uganda for treatment in the U.S. has now revealed what happened in Arua where he was detained for more than a week after his first arrest.
In a lengthy post on social media, the Ugandan lawmaker describes how he campaigned for his counterpart Kassiano Wadri and was assured of his victory as local media reported that their candidate was ahead.
Bobi Wine narrated how after watching the 7pm news, he was headed to his room when he received the news that his driver had been shot.
“I could not believe it….I quickly asked a team member to take him to hospital and another to call the police. We had not stepped away from that place when angry SFC soldiers came beating everyone they could see,” the Facebook post reads.
This negates claims by government officials that Bobi Wine was among those who stoned President Museveni’s convoy that day. It is on this basis that the State had arrested him and initially charged him with treason.
“As soon as they saw me, they said ‘there he is’ in Swahili,” he added, noting how the sound of bullets renting the air and people scampering to safety forced him to do the same.
He said he locked himself up in one of the hotel rooms as he heard the soldiers pulling out people demanding to be told where the lawmaker was hiding.
His assistant apparently sent him a photo of the driver who was shot and he shared on Twitter as the pandemonium in the hotel persisted. Unfortunately, the soldiers found him where he was hiding after beating the door down with an iron bar.
“Another soldier pointed a gun to my head and ordered me to kneel down…..the soldier who broke into the room used the same iron bar to hit me…the second blow came straight to my head on the side of my right eye…They beat me, punched me and kicked me with their boots,” Bobi Wine added.
When he was bundled into an awaiting vehicle, Bobi Wine alleges that they also punched his private parts using objects that he could not see as he was “wrapped in a thick piece of cloth.”
“I cannot understand how these soldiers who I had probably never met in person could hate me so much,” Bobi Wine said.
It is at this point that he says he lost consciousness as his head was forced down one of the car seats to prevent his screams from being heard.
Fast forward to the military barracks….
Bobi Wine says two soldiers came into the room he found himself in, probably to see if he was still alive….one of them apparently apologised to him over the brutality of his colleagues claiming “not all of them are like that.”
He adds that he was taken elsewhere where he was injected several times with an unknown substance but “he could not complain since he was not fully alert.” Bobi Wine adds that he was weak as he had not eaten or drank anything for hours and his eyesight failed him.
However, his dizzy state did not stop the military officers from covering his head, taking him to Gulu police station and allegedly forcing him to sign a document.
It may have been at this point that they recorded a video of him “smiling” which they would later release to the public.
After that, they apparently took him to another room where he was put on a metallic bed, handcuffed and injected with a drug that made him loose consciousness again.
He notes that the next day when he regained consciousness, two MPs; Medard Ssegona and Asuman Basarliwa visited him but he was unable to speak: “The moment they saw me they could not hold back their tears.”
Reports of his torture in the hands of military police were later dismissed by Government spokesman Ofwono Opondo who said. “That’s rubbish! If (Amsterdam) is indeed Bobi Wine’s lawyer, let him go to the detention facility and apply to see him and establish for himself whether his ribs are crushed.”
Bobi Wine would later be taken to the General Court Martial and afterwards he “was told that three guns had been assembled and said to have been found in my room.”
He was acquitted of charges against him by the military but rearrested outside the Gulu-based court and taken to a civil court.