By Spy Uganda
Eight Suspects arrested in April last year at Usafi Mosque by a joint security operation, over the murder of businesswoman, Susan Magara, were seriously tortured and some of them require a urologist and opthalmologist for further medication, medical reports has indicated.
The suspects include Hajarah Nakandi, Mahadi Kasalita, Yusuf Lubega, Hussein Wasswa, Muzamiru Ssali, Haj Abubaker Kyewolwa, Hassan Kato Miiro, Ismail Bukenya and Musa Buvumbo.
On December 13, the High Court Judge, Jane Frances Abodo of the Criminal Division of the High Court, ordered the Commissioner General of Prisons to allow the accused persons access private medical treatment at their cost, and the examination to be done at the place each of the accused is detained and with the supervision of the departmental doctors at Luzira Prisons.
Their lawyer, Isaac Ssemakadde of Centre for Legal Aid together with M/s Lubega Wandela and Co. Advocates, would later on January 18, reach out to African Centre for Torture Victims (ACTV), seeking their services in examining the “indigent suspects and possible victims of torture thoroughly in terms of Section 2 and the second schedule of the 2012 Prevention and Prohibition of Torture Act”.
They requested that a forensic report of the findings, observations, interventions and recommendations is availed thereafter.
Now, the Medical Report conducted by Dr Otim Robert Owera, ACTV Medical coordinator, a copy of which Spy Uganda has obtained indicates that all suspects “suffered harm” consistent with torture.
To cite out one of the suspects, Hassan Kato Miiro, the report indicates that “the physical symptoms presented by the client were consistent with the allegations of torture and on physical examination, the findings are in support of torture allegations.”
Also, psychological assessment points to “symptoms consistent with psychological consequences of exposure to traumatic events.”
The report further indicates the 3 of the suspects Kato Miro Hassan, Wasswa Hussein and Kisalita Mahadi are minors of 17 years and that others Bukenya Ismael as well as Lubega Yusuf presented symptoms which according to the Doctor’s medical report, require them to be treated by a urologist and an opthalmologist with immediate effect.
Lawyer Isaac Ssemakadde said torture of suspects is illegal in Uganda and that the report is to be shared with necessary agencies including security and Court.
“We are definitely going to share these findings with the Uganda Human Rights Commission and the Uganda Police Force and the Courts of law for further action and management,” Ssemakadde told this reporter.
“Torture is not acceptable, it is not part of the standard operating procedures for criminal investigation and prosecution. When torture is committed, it must be investigated and it must be redressed drastically with consequences for the perpetrators and for those who condoned the process,” he adds.
Ssemakadde argues that there cannot be a meaningful and fruitful prosecution based on evidence that was manufactured through torture.
He said the Prohibition and Prevention of torture Act prohibits the use of evidence obtained from torture.
The lawyer revealed they have instructions to ask the Police and military intelligence “who had custody of the suspects during the time these barbaric acts were committed against them to investigate and provide an accountability report.”
On the said minors, Ssemakadde reiterated that they are illegally detained at Murchison Bay maximum prison, saying they must be in a remand home for children established under the Children’s Act.
Magara Family Holds Memorial Service One Year Later
Wednesday marked exactly one year since the security recovered the body of Susan Magara who was murdered and dumped in Kigo off Entebbe Expressway.
Her family and friends Wednesday held a memorial mass service at Christ the King in Kampala and asked Gov’t to fasten their investigations in order to deliver justice to their family because “justice delayed is justice denied”.
Magara, who was a cashier with Bwendero Dairy Farm, one of the family businesses, was kidnapped on February 7, 2018 on Kabaka Anjagala Road in Mengo while she returned home in Lungujja, Rubaga Division.
The 23 y’r old was kidnapped and held incommunicado for 20 days and her body was later recovered on February 27, 2018.
She was kidnapped at the height of numerous kidnaps and killings of women in Entebbe and Kampala.
Nine suspects have since been arrested and charged with the murder and kidnap with intent to procure a ransom.