By Sania Babirye
The Kampala high court has ordered government to pay a one Gabula Africa Evans Ronald 12 million shillings at a 10% interest rate per annum and costs to the suit in compensation after ruling that he was unlawfully arrested and tortured by security operatives for one month while being coerced to confess to dealing with Ugandan based Australian cardiologist Dr.Agrey Kiyingi.
Justice Patricia Basaza Waswa has ruled that Gabula was indeed unlawfully arrested, detained and tortured which infringed on his fundamental rights and freedoms to protection from deprivation of liberty, torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
Gabula dragged government to the high court accusing officers of the Special Operations Unit (SOU) under the Police Force of unlawfully arresting and torturing him under the commandant of Nixon Asingwire and Samuel Okello in 2014 which was an infringement of his fundamental rights and freedoms.
Justice Basaza ruled that indeed the government did admit to the said allegations since government never denied his torture claims either
by way of a written statement or defense.
She further ruled that Gabula’s torture evidence presented before court which was never challenged by the attorney general but supported by the medical report from the African Center for treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture Victims and an account given by an eye witness -bystander proved that the actions of the Police officers named, were actions done by a Special Unit of the Police Force, done during working hours, on consecutive days.
Justice Basaza in conclusion ruled that although done in unauthorized place and manner, the Police Officers were acting in the course of their duty for which the Attorney General, representing the State, is vicariously liable and ordered government to pay the said compensation at a 10% interest rate per annum from the time of the judgement
In his defense, Gabula told court that after being arrested on the 26th of December 2014, at 10am, at Game, Lugogo Mall by plain clothed security operatives sent by a one Nixon Asingwire, he was whisked away to (SOU) head offices at Clement hill n the boot of a car, handcuffed and face covered were he was slapped, kicked beaten until he lost consciousness as police officers advised him to confess to dealings with a one Dr. Kiyingi which he declined to do, on the basis that he did not know the person.
He further revealed that during the course of his illegal detention from December 22, 2014 to January
21, 2015, he was subjected to other forms of torture including tying his hands, his legs, his mouth being cut off
(sic) with a scissors and disfigured, beaten with belts, whipped by three men which forced him to bled from the mouth, elbows and legs and being poured on cold water for dozing .
The officers also Placed a hot nosal of the pistol on the wound of his mouth, gave him a piece of posho and water that tasted like alcohol with severe pain in his teeth and was later taken tov Kireka to the Special Investigative Unit (SIU) and later to Mbuya barracks.