The Democratic Party has described as fake, suspects that were recently been paraded before the army disciplinary unit as being responsible for the torture of one of their own, Yusuf Kawooya.
Kawooya, a member of the Uganda Young Democrats (UYD) the DP Youth wing came into the spotlight last week after a video by Record TV showed him being despicably brutalized by gun-wielding men in Kampala.
The army has since paraded suspects before the army Disciplinary Unit and charged with conduct prejudicial to UPDF discipline.
Addressing the party’s weekly press briefing at Sheraton Hotel in Kampala, the DP President, Norbert Mao said that the party leaders with the help of experts have reviewed the video footage of the army officers during Kawooya’s arrest and discovered that the suspects are a hoax.
Mao said that the court martial trial in Mbuya was a hoax, stage managed with the intent to deceive and mislead the public.
“Our experts were concerned about the man who was wearing a checkered shirt who they claimed was the same person who was in the video during the violent arrest of Kawooya. You could see that the physique of the two men doesn’t match, there are other anomalies that we have seen,” Mao told reporters.
“We are challenging the military authorities to produce those men who tortured and arrested Kawooya in public. We don’t accept the video they recorded by themselves according to their own arrangement and which they released with the intent of deceiving the general public,” Mao said.
Mao noted that it is not abnormal under the law to have the public during the Court martial trials giving a recent example of Arua case of Kyadondo East MP, Robert Kyagulanyi who was charged with treason but was paraded before an open court.
“In this case, the charges are not as serious as treason, we demand that the army should come clean. We reject the video of trial that has been shown to us as fake. We say shame upon the UPDF for trying to dupe the public.”
He appealed to the army to stop what he called attempts to cover up its misdeeds.
“We have the original video of the men who tortured Kawooya and we can compare with those they have paraded in court and for now, we are convinced that the army is in a massive cover up operation which we reject and denounce.”
Mao revealed that the party is as well carrying out private investigations with the view of naming and shaming the perpetrators of torture.
On the other hand, Mao demanded for the immediate release of Kawooya who he said has been in detention for more than the 48 hours prescribed under the Constitution of Uganda.
“We demand that he be produced before a competent Court or released immediately. As DP, we have instructed our legal team to file for a right of habeas corpus, to have him produced before Court. We don’t know the charges against him, why he was arrested in such a manner,” Mao said.
He says that the highest Court of Appeal is People Power and that the people will not hesitate to take to the streets to protest the illegal detention of any citizen of Uganda.