Following numerous claims of torture by members of opposition and other Government critics, President Museveni on Friday was interviewed by Voice Of America Journalist Peter Clottey to comment on the state of torture in the country.
Admitting that some people were tortured, President Museveni remarked that some tactics used by the security forces were retained from the colonialialsts who employed them to extract information from Africans.
Museveni said, "You see, part of the problems of Africa is capacity building, we are building armies and security forces. These sometimes come with traditional ideas from the village or they get imported ideas from the former colonialists. For instance, the Police Force which was here during the colonial times; they were using those methods."
The recent victim of alleged torture is satirical novelist Kakwenza Rukirabashaija who shared a video of his scarred body reportedly from whipping inflicted on him during his time in incarceration. The President was asked to comment on the novelist’s allegations.
President Museveni informed VOA that he hadn't followed up on the critics' case but assured that the security agencies were under sensitization against use of torture. "It is true that some people were tortured. I have not confirmed on that one (Kakwenza), but I have confirmed some other cases, and I took it up," he said.
Commenting on the President’s remarks, RX Radio Presenter Fatboy said, “ We would want our brothers and sisters in the security forces to stop mistreating Ugandans in the name of security, that you must pluck off flesh from their skin, whip, beat, kick and mutilate them. It's absolutely unnecessary.”
He went on to say that the incidents of torture ruin the reputation of the ruling party which other opposition parties can use as an instrument to campaign against their (NRM’s) leadership.
“If the ruling party has long-term aspirations of being in power for much longer, I think it's dangerous to create this kind of mistrust brought out by allegations of torture. How about you stop it such that you don't give your opponents any reason to criticize you? Because it looks like you're handing it to them on a silver platter,” Fatboy recommended.
Uganda has for the past month been under probe for allegations of torture in which the US came out to condemn the acts saying they undermine the Government's constitution Article 24 which states that, ”No person shall be subjected to any form of torture, cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment.”
The Fatboy show is hosted by James Onen aka Fatboy, Olive and Sarah every weekday from 6am to 10am on RX Radio.