Crime & Investigation

‘I Was Tortured to Confess Masterminding Kampala Bombings’

Luyima confessing before Kampala High Court on Wednesday (Photo: Kenneth Kazibwe/ChimpReports)

City Hall grade one magistrate Moses Nabende has convicted two teachers of Acorn International School in Bukoto over negligence that led to the drowning and death of 2 year old Sunshine Baraza.’

The two teachers are Florence Awor and Acado Deborah who were directly responsible for looking after the late Mitchel Baraza.

They are accused of letting the boy to sneak into the swimming pool with no one to watch him, nurse where he drowned on September 3, physician 2012.

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Florence Awor was pinned by her own statement though which court deduced that she was negligent since she was alerted of the missing pupil in her class but she was not responsive.

Acado Deborah was the class teacher of the class in which the deceased was studying but when she was asked how the baby ended up in the swimming pool, she failed to explain.

Meanwhile the other two co-accused; Wagogo Hasama a swimming pool attendant and Edith Nsasira were acquitted after court found that they were not responsible for the Baraza’s death.

In his defense, Wagogo didn’t deny his duties of looking after the swimming pool, but informed court that he had no swimming classes on the day the boy drowened..

He added that when he was alerted about a child in the pool, he rushed to save his life but it was too late.

The sentencing of these two has been set for tomorrow Thursday in the presence of their lawyer who was not court today.

Isa Ahmed Luyima, capsule one of the 13 suspects in the July 11 2010 Lugogo bombings has narrated to court how he was tortured by Kenyan, Ugandan and FBI operatives in a bid to confess having masterminded the terror attack.

This came after the defence lawyers led by Caleb Alaka didn’t agree with evidence by state witness and Hoima Chief Magistrate Francis Kobusheshe that he had recorded an extra judicial statement from Luyima who confessed having been part of the plot to bomb Uganda.

“My Lord we have instructions from one of the accused challenging the statements made by him. He says it was induced by way of torture and threats in a bid to confess and we object to it,” Alaka told court before Justice Alphonse Owiny-Dollo asked the defence lawyers to bring witnesses to testify to that.

Luyima Narrates

The 38 year old suspect told court that on August 5, 2010 while moving on one of the streets in Mombasa, he was surrounded by vehicles before armed men jumped off and cocked guns before bundling him onto a waiting truck that drove off at break-neck speed.

The suspect said he was handcuffed and his legs tied with chains.

“I heard them communicate on their walkie-talkies that their next destination was CPS. I later came to identify my captors as being officers from the Anti-Terrorism police of Kenya after asking me to take them home as they searched the whole house,” Luyima told court.

“The officers who were more than 15 asked me to open my bedroom and searched it thoroughly before being returned to CPS (Kenya) where I was put into a cell where they could remove me later to go for interrogations.”

According to Luyima, he was put in a room referred to as self-contained with a bathroom and toilet but had all been blocked and could sleep on the ground.

Luyima told court that the interrogation comprised both Kenyan and Ugandan officers who asked him to identify from the pictures shown to him among the scholars, Sheikhs and businessmen who were involved in terror related activities.

“One Ugandan officer stood up and said in Luganda that if I fell short of assisting them, I would then be brought back to Kampala to face the consequences. The Kenya Anti- terrorism boss  only identified as Kamende urged me to cooperate with them, infiltrate the radical Muslim groups and that I would give them the results as soon as possible.”

The suspect told court that he was asked to accept that he had trained with Al Shabaab and had acquired guns on top of explosives but on refusal to agree with his captors’ terms, he was brought to Uganda.

“Later in the evening I was removed from the cells and taken to Moi International Airport at break-neck speed to a waiting unmarked plane which had white and black colours. I was then tied to one of the seats, blindfolded and the journey started.”

“We landed at the military base in Entebbe before being bundled into a waiting vehicle that drove off to Kampala. At around 7pm we arrived at a place I later came to know as JAAT headquarters in Kololo. I found other hooded men whose faces I could not see.”

Eating stones

Luyima narrated that he was at eventually undressed with some men beating him mercilessly using clubs and batons as they told him that his cries could not help.

The suspect said another officer at the rank of captain brought him a stone before asking him to take a bite off it instead of the being hit with it 10 times as had earlier been planned.

“After managing to get a piece from the stone, I was added to the other suspects and put into a matatu van and ordered not to raise our heads as we headed to some unknown  location. When we reached our destination, some people said they were hungry but were then lucky that some food had been brought,” Luyima narrated.

“Two men threw me into a bathtub before turning on water pipes. I was fully immersed in the water and struggle for breath. I was later asked to move on my back, an exercise I could not afford due to horrible pain.”

The 38-year-old suspect said he was later asked to climb a wall with the legs up whereas his head was down before being left to sleep.

The following day, according to Luyima, they were later taken back to JAAT headquarters where he found another operative only identified as Namara who asked him to open the mouth wide before he was pricked with a needle as they asked him to confess to planning the Kampala bombings.

“They asked me to confess being part of the Al Shabaab and having masterminded the attacks at Kyadondo and Ethiopian restaurant. I was told that if I didn’t heed to their request, I would be taken to the theatre. Meanwhile on being taken to the theatre, we found Mohamoud Mugisha who was now whimpering in pain after being tortured. The fear of consistent torture compelled me to confess to planning the bombings.”

Luyima said that it was at that time that he recorded his first statement while at JATT in the presence of operatives from Kenya, Uganda and FBI.

The suspect, however, said he had complained to one FBI agent how he had been tortured but the official simply told him to keep quiet as he had been part of the group that had killed their (Americans) people.

“Later, I was taken to the JATT chief who said I should not feel like an outcast and that I could be rehabilitated like many from LRA and ADF had been after confessing. I was later taken to the CMI chief Brig. James Mugira’s office and asked to confess to the media and ask for forgiveness from the nation.”

Luyima told court that he sustained injuries due to the torture around the hip bone, bums and knees.

The trial judge adjourned the case to Thursday June 25, 2015.

Thirteen suspects from Somali, Uganda, Tanzanian and Kenya are charged with masterminding the July 11, 2010 twin bombings at Kyadondo and Ethiopian Village Restaurant in Kabalagala that killed more than 70 people who were watching World Cup finals.

Somalia based armed group have since claimed responsibility for the attack as revenge to Uganda for sending her troops under the AMISOM to the war-torn country.


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