By Spy Uganda
Sam Mugumya, a youthful politician who was at one time Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) stalwart Dr Kizza Besigye’s blue-eyed boy, is struggling for his dear life after he contracted the deadly Coronavirus (COVID-19) while in Dollo prison in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Mugumya has been in jail for several years after he was arrested in 2014 for allegedly engaging in subversive activities allegedly using DR Congo as his training grounds, although since his arrest he has been been tried in any courts of law.
He has been languishing behind bars for years without access to his lawyers, family members and friends. As a way of notifying his family members and relatives about his current dire health situation, Mugumya wrote to his friend and social activist Tumuhimbise Norman, national co-coordinator of alternative Uganda, a social movement , the following missive;
“…following my most likely COVID-19 symptoms, I and others have been tested and isolated. Chances are; that I am positive. Please dont feel sorry for me because it may not help for now. I know you know how strong I have been towards more complicated situations than this. My conscious tells me that I shall overcome this too..” said Mugumya Sam in his hand written message to me, Tumuhimbise posted on his Facebook wall on Friday.
“If you talk about Mugumya Sam and you don’t talk about his genuine smile, outgoing characters and his big heart, then you don’t know him neither do you understand the struggle,” Norman wrote on his Facebook.
“Around 12th May 2020 I found out from our ally in Congo on how COVID-19 had attacked the prison in which Sam is innocently imprisoned. At a time of our conversation over 90 prisoners had tested positive and isolated. Little did I know that on the 15th May comrade Sam would be a victim too and now undergoing treatment. The best I and many of you who believe in the cause he stood for can do is to keep him in our prayers and also build more pressure onto both Uganda and Congo government to set him free,” Norman said.
News of Mugumya’s arrest in 2014 was broken by then Uganda People’s Defence Force’s spokesperson, Lt. Col. Paddy Ankunda, on social media. He said Mugumya had been arrested in company of four others with huge sums of dollars and documents linking them to some rebel outfit in eastern DRC with intentions of overthrowing the Ugandan government.
A day after this revelation, the Uganda Media Centre executive director, Ofwono Opondo, shared a photo on twitter of a seemingly depressed and scrawny Mugumya in the DRC army detention.
However, the DRC embassy in Uganda denied any knowledge of the matter although they referred the same to the Ugandan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who also similarly denied knowledge on the issue when they were contacted about Mugumya’s fate.