Charles Rwomushana, the former State House Intelligence Operative has spoken out on his arrest, alleging that he was tortured by Police.
Appearing on a talk show on one of the local radio stations (KFM) on Thursday evening (last week), Rwomushana put Police to task to produce a technical report proving that the photo he shared on his Facebook page isn’t Aine’s.
When asked to explain how and where his arrest happened, Rwomushana revealed that his arrest was a forceful one and was informed of his charges upon arrival at the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), Kireka.
“I continue to breath, God is great. I was on my way from Radio One to WBS TV where I was supposed to have a talk show midway the news. There was traffic jam along Kiira road, so I decided to turn so that I can us Old Kampala road. A vehicle intercepted me from the opposite side of the roundabout and some people jumped out. There was a scuffle as they were trying to force me to enter into their car, but I maintained the scuffle around my car, they then pushed me into my car, they grabbed my keys and they drove off. They drove at break neck speed and I thought I was on my way to death because I had no feelings at that time,” he explained.
He added: “Initially, I didn’t think of either of these people being state agents. I knew it could be any other person because there had been a lot of tension in the recent days…They didn’t say anything to me. It was not until I met a senior officer and he asked me if I knew why I had been arrested. I told him, I think I am on my way to meet Aine, then he told me what it was.”
When asked if he was tortured, Rwomushana said torture isn’t something new to him. “I am used to torture, if I’m expecting death isn’t that torture enough? Yes, my shirt and trouser were torn I even have a wound but that’s normal.”
Rwomushana however declined to divulge into details on the security details of the cell he was put, saying there are some inmates in the same cell so it wouldn’t be good to discuss the security details of the cell.
He rather noted that; “I refused to eat their food for close to 24 hours, until they were able to resolve the issue. That is when they allowed my wife to give me food. For the benefit of the security, I won’t disclose the facility. There was water and soap and if this is what is provided for other cells that would be good.”
When asked how he came to let his close people that he had been arrested, the former spy chief explained that he had already discussed with his wife who was also aware of the state of affairs.
“My phone kept on ringing, of course they were expecting me at WBS, so I requested to put my phone in silence which they agreed to and technically, I informed my wife that I was in danger.”
Addressing issues surrounding the authenticity of the picture he posted on his facebook page, Rwomushana called on those contesting it to produce evidence to counter his. He noted that he got the picture from “a reliable source” but refused to reveal who his source was.
“The picture is of a dead body who was initially a live human being but now dead, so the picture confirms death. You can’t say it is for someone who is asleep, to say it is fake, that is technical,” Rwomushana noted.
When put to task to explain how he came to conclude it was Aine’s body, yet he isn’t a pathologist, Rwomushana said that; “I knew Aine, that’s on record. Aine came to me for counsel and I found him a humble person. I got to know him through David Pulkol. If I look at your picture, I use your likeness, I suppose that is the way we interpret pictures.”
Highlighting key details on what his statement contained, Rwomushana stated that the interrogation was surrounded around the Aine picture.
“I wrote a statement exclusive about this picture, it was an exchange we were having whether the picture was authentic. I asked them, do you have a technical brief that it’s not a dead body? My reason for finding out what happened to Aine isn’t for trade or exchange, mine was personal. I don’t need another person’s opinion to convince myself that Aine is dead. I’m not going to seek someone’s permission to mourn. Traditionally, we mourn by informing friends. If you contradict the photo and bring expertise to prove that, I would have hope, but I must not have false hope,” he noted.
Rwomushana added: “They (Police) have their own opinion, their opinion being you have put the picture on the wall which will generate opinion, tension, excitement because it was bound to do so. Question is; do I have a right to share it? If I get such a picture should I share it with police or his relatives first? Why should they censure and injure my right to freedom of expression?”
It should be recalled that the former spy chief was one of the first people to contest the post mortem report about the people who died on the beach during the festive season. Responding to queries on why he reads too much of everything that happens, Rwomushana said there is more to those beach deaths.
“That is me, I read too much in everything because I know that the alternative to conversation is violence. I have lived at the lake and have looked at the dead bodies. I interacted with parents of the deceased, and I found out that their necks were broken and the bodies had bullet wounds.”
He went on to rhetorically ask: “Does being responsible mean I should share it with Police first? I gave my ideas to a media house, a third party so that we may have a conversation.”
Rwomushana also noted that his quest to find these answers is not because of personal gains, but because he is campaigning against electoral violence in the February elections.
“… Those who are saying there is no tension, why waste time discussing it if it isn’t tension?”
Explaining the terms attached to his release, Rwomushana said, “We had a hot exchange. I have proposed to have a conversation with police, why use force or violence to counter argue me, have they failed to reason? I have my own position to exercise, my freedom. There must be a free atmosphere to exchange ideas because my freedom to conscience supersedes my freedom to live, rather take my life. They told me they would take me to Luzira; I told them I am ready for that.”
One listener inquired Rwomushana’s source of income because ever since he was dropped from his security stint at State House he hasn’t had a known job. Rwomushana instead bragged, saying, “You mean they don’t know, then I am thorough! What is critical is that I live and most the important point is the quality of my life which is determined by the level and quality of my freedom not what I put in my stomach. I hunt mud fish; do you want to supply me with worms? If you can supply me with worms, then we are in business.”
He rubbished talks that he is attacking the regime which he served earlier on because he fell out with its system. Instead, Rwomushana said he hasn’t fallen out with any system given he hasn’t gone to exile.
“How do you fall out with the system, I am in Uganda. I was an RDC, that is a constitutional job but that isn’t critical, what is critical is do you have critical access to jobs?” he said.