The Jobless Brotherhood in conjunction with ‘Fuba Tukole Namayiba Old Kampala Hawkers and Street Vendors Association have launched ‘N’omunaku Muntu’ (the poor one is also a person) campaign.
The campaign is aimed at decriminalising petty offences against the poor and comes hot on the heels of the arrest of Juma Akankwasa, 35, a member of the Fuba Tukole.
He was arrested on February 12 by KCCA and taken to Central Police Station Kampala as he prepared to go home after delivering his trade merchandise to the store.
Thirteen days later, Akankwasa is still missing despite efforts of the Fuba tukole and Jobless Brotherhood, through their counsel, Aron Kiiza filing a habeas corpus demanding that he be before court on February 25.
He was allegedly terribly tortured during his time of arrest, and according to his colleagues, they suspect he might also be dead.
‘’I was told that Akankwasa has been arrested and taken to CPS. I called the DPC at CPS and he picked the call to confirm that he was indeed at the station. Upon reaching there (CPS) in the morning, the other suspects arrested with him told us that he was taken to the hospital at 2am in the night. When we asked the DPC about it, he told us nothing till when we went to the city mortuary,” Oweneza Kalela, the spokesperson of Fuba tukole narrated Akankwasa’s ordeal to journalists on Tuesday in Kampala.
At the city mortuary in Mulago, they allegedly found a shirt they allege to be Akankwasa’s soaked in blood.
“This was the shirt he was wearing on the day he was arrested. And that is why we think that he was killed by security forces,” Agustin Ojobile, the national coordinator of the Jobless Brotherhood said.
But Kampala Metropolitan Police Spokesperson Patrick Onyango, rebutted the allegations.
“Our record does not show him anywhere. Even if they had brought him here just for a second he would have known. We are a profession police force and we do our things by writing but our records don’t show that he has ever been here for even a minute,” Onyango told WatchdogUganda.
But Akankwasa’s plight is not the only bone of contention. The members of Fuba Tukole also allege that on several occasions been tortured by Kampala Capital City Authority officials as they went about their activities. And although they have sought help from various government bodies, their cries have fallen on deaf ears.
It’s in this campaign they hope that their voices will be heard and may Justice will take its course.
Efforts to talk to KCCA where declined as KCCA spokesperson Peter Kawuju as our phone calls went unanswered.
Do you have a story in your community or an opinion to share with us: Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org