The case of Emmanuel Mageza – the Rwandan that has been reported in the Ugandan media as having been “found dead” outside Butabika Hospital, an old mental health facility in Kampala – only is one of many that continue to come to light revealing the levels of inhuman behavior by operatives of Ugandan security organs targeting Rwandan nationals.
It also once again highlights lawlessness on the part of Ugandan authorities in abetting arrests – abductions in fact, with no legal or due procedure – of countless Rwandans and holding them incommunicado.
Our inquiries reveal that after almost a year of relentless torture in CMI’s main dungeon in Mbuya, Mageza, who was born in DRC in 1969, lost his mental health.
Under international obligations and conventions, it was the duty of Ugandan authorities to inform Rwanda’s High Commission in Kampala of the detention of Mageza. he Ugandan authorities acted as they have in the case of so many other missing Rwandans.
They simply ignored the many notes verbale the Rwandan high commission sent seeking explanations each time a Rwandan was abducted or went missing.
Those only are the lucky few that have gotten out alive; individuals who, though they are suffering the trauma of physical and psychological torture, still may manage to pick the pieces of their lives, and move on.
More than a few Rwandans have lost their minds following torture in Ugandan dungeons and torture houses – the so-called “safe-houses”.
The nine Rwandan detainees recently released by Uganda, some after more than two years in the Mbuya dungeon, are familiar with the case of Mageza. He was one of the several that Eron Kiiza was pushing to have released.
In arresting him, no one ever told him why they thought he had been “sent him to spy.”
Others talked of incidents when they saw CMI operatives electrocute their victims, one of the things that happened to Mageza.
“They seat someone naked in a chair, fasten him onto it, then one of the interrogators wearing gloves gets hold of an electric wire – fastened from the wall – and shoves the naked part of it into the soles of the victim. The victim’s eye bulge almost like falling out and he screams unbelievably!” Jean Claude Mucyo, another victim told us.
In addition to the beatings, starvings, ice baths and electrocutions there also is waterboarding, which simulates drowning. People that became insane with pain and try to resist or fight back will be shot.
Mageza was lucky not to be shot, but he still lost his mind, and even when they took him to Butabika he succumbed to his injuries.
Uganda has said nothing about their fate.
There are many missing Rwandans feared to be dead, or to have lost their mental health among those: Emmanuel Rukundo, Jackson Karangwa, Eric Tumusifu, Uwitonze, Serugendo and others.
There are yet several other Rwandans illegally detained in Luzira, and various other prisons in Uganda whose situation is completely unknown, whose imprisonment the Ugandan authorities never bothered to bring to the notice of the Rwandan High Commission.