AUF TESTIMONY – SATURDAY 26TH JULY 2008 12:30
“From court I came to Speke Hotel with Mellisa and Ali for 20 minutes. I found Val &
Gerald and shared a few words with them. Time for Juma prayers was approaching and was
supposed to meet a friend who is getting married after my prayers. I left to attend the
prayers at Nakasero mosque and then I met the lady who gave me money to help her make
her wedding cake. I received a call from Brian at about 2.30 p.m and was coming to Speke
Hotel to meet Brian on a motorbike.
On my way to Speke Hotel I saw a patrol car that was following us which then packed in
front of us. They told the motorbike cyclist that they wanted me and not him since he
had already panicked thinking they were after him. They picked me and I requested to
leave the boda boda man with some contacts so he could let them know that I had been
taken. I gave him Pepe, Frank and Isma’s numbers and told him to help him call those
The patrol car had four policemen, three in uniform and one in plain clothes. I got onto
the pickup truck and they drove towards Jinja road where they found another civilian car
with tinted windscreens packed around Shoprite. They then changed me to that car which
went to direction that I did not note. There were other policemen, 2 in suits and 1 in
uniform. We drove for about 30 minutes and entered a building; they got me out and we
entered somewhere where we found two women and one man.
They then asked me if I was Nikki and I said no. They asked me my name and I told them I
was Usaam Mukwaya. They didn’t identify themselves. They then said they want Nikki or
Pepe. They pushed me into a very dark corridor where I found two other boys. One boy’s
leg was broken and they looked like they had been tortured. One man brought a chair and
told me to sit. They scrapped my knuckle with a razor like object and brought another
glass one that they pressed on the scrapped part where there was blood and I started
getting paralyzed. It started from the hands and then the legs. I was feeling kind of
sleepy but could still understand what was going on around me.
They started asking questions in Luganda (a local language);-
‘Who are the funders and sponsors?’ to which I said I didn’t know them.
‘What is your role among the homosexuals?’ I told them I am an activist and Human Rights
Defender. They then asked me; ‘Who isn’t a Human rights Defender?’ and I kept quiet.
‘Who is Pepe and where does he stays? What is Pepe’s role?’ I told them that Pepe is the
Chairperson of SMUG. The same questions were asked about Nikki and I told them I don’t
know. They asked me where the SMUG office is but I don’t remember what I told them. They
then asked where the lawyer’s office is and where he resides. I directed them to the
office but I told them I didn’t know his home. They asked if I was married and said I am
not. They left me after this and I slept after that. Two women and one man were doing
the questioning, while the other boys were just sitting.
When it was approaching dawn, the man came in and asked me if I was a man or a woman. I
didn’t reply but he asked me to remove my trousers and that’s when he saw my phone. I
had some money too (Fifty thousand shillings) for the lady I had met earlier at the
mosque, which he took. He told me to walk around the room in my underwear. He then told
me to wear my trousers. (Sighs) There was a machine with a cushion bench under it, in
the room where we were and he told me to lie facing it. He told me to look up and
threatened to lower the machine if I did not tell them who the funders are. The machine
is round with long extensions on the sides that stretch the arms. The round part is
directly above the chest and they lowered the machine. The machine is lowered using a
switch. The two extensions on the machine held my hands very tightly and I was in
intense pain. They kept asking me if I would talk or not, I said nothing. After about 15
minutes, another man came in and said that it’s possible that I am innocent because the
young people are just recruited. The machine was then removed and they asked me if we
are paid and how much is it that we are paid. I told them that I am not paid. They then
asked me why I am a homosexual if I am not paid. I did not answer. They left me sleeping
on the bench under the machine.
After about 40 min the one that lowered the machine came back and called me. They took
me where the car that had brought us the previous day was parked and asked me to get in.
My mobile phone, money, jacket, shoes and socks were not returned to me. There were two
men, the same person who was driving the day before and someone else I had not seen
before drove me up Mulago round-about and ordered me to get out. There is a phone booth
across the road; I walked up to it thinking I could remember Pepe’s number but only the
last two digits could come to mind. I then picked a motorbike to Speke Hotel, but the
motorcyclist was hesitant to take because I was dirty and barefooted. When I reached
Speke Hotel, I looked around for my colleagues but there was none there, so the
telephone operator across Speke paid the motorcyclist. I entered the hotel at about 12pm
and asked the Manager to call someone; he called Gerald the Office Administrator of
SMUG, who then called Pepe.
I feel pain in my chest, I also have a stomach upset but I am happy to see light again.”
This testimony was witnessed by:
For further information please contact:
Pepe Julian Onziema