Emmanuel Magezi, a Rwandan national who was allegedly arrested by operatives Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI) operatives in Mbarara District, is dead.
Magezi was reportedly picked up by CMI operatives in March 2019.
He was allegedly detained at Makenke Military Barracks in Mbarara District before being transferred to Mbuya Military Barracks in Kampala.
On January 31, 2020, his lawyer, Eron Kiiza filed an application in the Civil Division of High Court in Kampala demanding his production in court.
Mr Kiiza also demanded an explanation from the army and the government about the illegal detention of his client for ten months without any charges being brought against him. The application was scheduled to be heard next Monday.
However, Mr Kiiza says he has since received reliable information indicating that Magezi could have passed on.
A copy of a letter signed by the Officer in Charge of Criminal Investigations Department at Butabika Police Station confirms that
Magezi died in Kirinya Ward in Butabika Hospital on January 21, 2020 at about 9am.
In the letter, the police officer asks a police surgeon to go to the City Mortuary and examine Magezi’s body, which had been taken to the facility under Ref. No. 06/21/01/2020.
Kampala Metropolitan Police Spokesperson, Patrick Onyango confirmed the development.
“I have consulted and been told the letter is authentic. Magezi’s body was found outside Butabika Ward. We were called when the body was outside the ward,” he said.
He said: “I don’t know what had happened but we are still waiting for the report.”
Dr David Basangwa, the Executive Director Butabika National Mental Referral Hospital referred us to the Director Clinical Services who also said she wasn’t in position to talk because she was attending a funeral.
Maj. Charles Kabbona, the Makenke Military Barracks spokesperson, said that he wasn’t in office and promised to provide the “little information” he has on the matter on Tuesday next week.
The Defence Ministry and UPDF Spokesperson, Brigadier Richard Karemire declined to comment, saying he doesn’t know anything about the matter.
Magezi’s death is likely to further strain the relationship between Uganda and Rwanda. The two countries have been trying to mend their relations following accusations by Kigali against Kampala for supporting dissidents and illegally arresting and detaining its citizens in ungazetted detention centres.
President Yoweri Museveni has since held several meetings with Mr Paul Kagame, his Rwandan counterpart, to end the hostilities between the two countries.
Following the tensions and counter-accusations, Rwanda closed the Katuna/Gatuna border post and blocked Ugandan goods from accessing the Rwandan market.