Kampala Abductions: Kiseka Mechanic Narrates 39 Day’s Ordeal In Miltary Detection

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Twenty-year-old Ismail Ssozi, a mechanic at Kiseka Market and resident of Makerere-Kivulu in Kampala Central Division was abducted by armed men in a numberless minibus commonly referred to as drones and spent 39 days in military detention.

Ssozi was picked up together with his colleague Moses Ssenfuka near Kiseka market by personnel from the Kiseka military police detach on January 10, 2021. According to Ssozi he was detained at the Chieftaincy Military Intelligence-CMI and Makindye Military police Barracks together with other suspects, where they were subjected to torture.

In an exclusive interview, the father of three told Uganda Radio Network-URN that they were tortured while being forced to confess for participating in the November 18-19, 2020 riots triggered by the arrest of the National Unit Platform President, Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu during his presidential campaign trail. 

He explains that while at Makindye Military Barracks, they were locked up in a very cold room in a go down where they were subjected to torture each day and forced to confess to crime in vain.  

Ssozi, who is out on bail, says he can’t walk properly because of the torture. “I cannot walk properly and I don’t want to look in the sunshine. I haven’t gone to the hospital but am scared that my vision was affected due to the long time I spent in darkness. I can’t stand for more than 30 minutes; my entire back is full of scratches,” Ssoozi said.  

He explains that while at Makindye Police Military Barrack he found there several other suspects who were going through the same torture. Ssozi, however, only remembers one Geoffrey, Joseph Maganda Kigozi and Jude Ssemanda. According to Ssozi, even his tormentors didn’t know the particular offences they were being accused of.  

Ssozi appeared together with 14 others before the UPDF court-martial sitting in Kakiri barracks in Wakiso district on charges of possessing military items and participating in the November 18-19th, 2021 riots.

According to Ssozi, because of his detention, his family was evicted by the landlord at the beginning of this month due to accumulated rent.My wife and our daughter had to seek refuge at one of my sister’s places. Now I have no job. My boss’ garage was closed after my arrest,” Ssozi said.  Several people have been abducted in different parts of the country by security personnel driving numberless drones. 

The Defense Ministry Deputy Spokesperson, Deo Akiiki has since advised whoever alleges to have been tortured by the Army or Police and those with missing relatives to file complaints with the police.  

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