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Zaake’s Wounds Were Self-Inflicted – Minister Kania

Internal Affairs Minister Hon Obiga Kania has told parliament that Mityana Municipality MP Hon Francis Zaake beat himself up and occasioned the severe injuries during his detention late last month.

Minister Kania on Thursday presented a comprehensive report before parliament as directed by Speaker Rebecca Kadaga, in which he said he concurred with the statements made by police officers who were involved in Zaake’s arrest that he indeed injured himself while in police cells and during transportation.

Zaake was arrested on April 19th April 2020 from his home in Mityana by police led by the RPC of Wamala Region Bob Kagarura, for allegedly flouting presidential directives by distributing food items to his constituents.

About a week later on April 27th, the MP was brought to court in Mityana, while being carried on a stretcher, as he wailed seemingly in pain.

The images of the MP sparked public outrage.

In his report to parliament however, Minister Kania, quoting police officers, said Zaake’s injuries were self-inflicted as he resisted to be transferred to the CID Headquarters in Kampala, where according to the minister, he had to be taken following intelligence that his supporters were plotting to invade the police station in Mityana where he was initially held.

Hon Zaake, the minister says, “refused to move out” of the cell and that other officers had to be called in to force him out.”

“Hon. Zaake held the metallic door of the cells and also placed his leg one side in between the metal bars so that it is difficult for the police to pull him out. The FFU personnel pulled out Hon Zaake by force from the metallic bars that he had held onto for support. AIP Masaba called some of his personnel to help him remove Hon Zaake forcefully from the cells,” he said

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The Minister also adds that Zaake had to be restrained with two handcuffs on either arm, and that he used these cuffs to injure himself while being transported in the police truck.

The Minister, quoting one CPL Lomokol said Hon Zaake “was shouting and hitting he metallic seats of the 999 using his arms and legs.”

Zaake, later on after complaining of too much pain, had to be taken to the Iran Uganda Hospital where one Dr. Nuwamanya, confirmed that he had suffered blunt injuries on the forehead, earlobes, right and left of the chest, right side flank, right upper arm, right wrist, lower lip, left leg and left leg shin.

The Minister told the House that he concurred with the Police statements, considering that injuries on the MP were only on the front part of his body and not the back.

“It is probable that Hon. Zaake could have inflicted himself. According the statement of the car commander, Hon. Zaake kept on knocking himself on the metals of the pick-up. It is probable that these injuries were as a results of the knocking,” the Minister said.

The minister’s report however is inconclusive on how Hon Zaake could have suffered the damage on his eyes. The MP claims he was pepper sprayed multiple times and that a teargas canister was dumped in his cell.

The Minister however says investigations in Zaake’s alleged torture are still ongoing and that soon they will be questioning his wife, and also subject him to an independent medical examination.

 

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