The family of Claude Lyakaremye is distraught, following the unclear arrest and detention of the Rwanda national, who has been working as a bodaboda rider in Kampala.
Lyakaremye, family members say, was grabbed by what turned out to be officers from the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI) in March this year.
Human rights lawyer, Eron Kiiza told the media today that his client was taken on Sunday, March 25, 2018 from his stage at the Kisenyi bus station in down town Kampala.
Lyakalemye’s wife Beatrice Nyirahabimana, a mother of two, says she has lived with her husband for 8 years and he has never been accused of any crime by authorities or his colleagues.
“I received a call at around 8:00PM and was told that my husband was arrested during the day by men who came at the stage and called him as though they were customers,” the wife narrated to reporters.
“He went and on reaching them, a man grabbed him and he made an alarm, which attracted his friends.”
She adds that at that time, men in army uniforms and others in plain clothes jumped out of a nearby Toyota Noah and pushed her husband inside.
“I went to police but was only told that some army officers had approached the police and informed them that they were to carry out an operation in the area; they advised me to go to Mbuya.”
Despite frequenting Mbuya Barracks for days, Nyirahabimana says, she was denied access to her husband. But with the help of the lawyers, a habeas corpus application was filed with the High Court compelling CMI to produce him.
She says however, that she was surprised to learn that Lyakalemye was transferred to Makindye Military barracks.
On April 18, she says, she saw him and he told her that he had been detained in Mbuya and tortured badly.
According to Counsel Kiiza, the Rwandan national is now being accused by CMI of illegal possession of a gun.
“A person CMI arrested in full view of the public while at his bodaboda stage at a bus terminal in Kisenyi without anything, is now being framed that he has a gun, yet no search of his residence was done,” Kiiza said.
Kiiza told the media that while in detention, Lyakaremye was asked a number of questions about Rwanda and the Rwandan Embassy and accused of being a Rwandan spy.
When reached for a comment, the UPDF spokesperson Richard Karemire said Lyakaremye is was duly arrested and that he is being formally charged with offences that he wouldn’t mention.
Council Kiiza however, expressed concern that despite recent talks between the two president of Rwanda and Uganda, many Rwandans living in Uganda have continued to suffer arrests and abductions by security forces in the country.
He said since August, 2017, he has received 11 cases of Rwanda nationals detained 9 of whom have since been extradited while the two are facing charges before the Military Court.
He appealed to CMI to release Lyakaremye saying he is “an ordinary bodaboda rider without a history of crime.”