A Ugandan film maker Joseph Mabirizi Busuulwa went missing on April 24, was on Monday May 6, 2019 produced before Buganda Road Court and charged with among others kidnap, abduction, slavery and possession of firearms.
Mabirizi who works with Makindye based film Studio Group 7 Works, was however released on bail by Grade One Magistrate pending further investigations.
Mabirizi’s Lawyer speaks out
Mabirizi’s lawyer, Farouk Kiggwawo Kitaka of Nsereko Mukalazi & Co. Advocates told the media that charges brought against his client were laughable and that Claire Nabagesera, the person he is accused of kidnapping has since left the country.
Kitaka says Nabagesera’s fiancé, a high ranking security official, was arm twisting the law to bring down his client by claiming Mabirizi aided her escape to Europe.
He added that his client was arrested the next morning after he returned from a trip to Europe on April 23 where he had travelled with Nabagesera.
Security operatives raid his home
On the morning of April 24, 2019, armed security operatives first raided Mabirizi’s home in Lweza along Entebbe Road before arresting him.
“It was around 9am when armed security men raided Mabirizi’s home, they told him he had kidnapped a woman and that he had a gun in his premises. The operatives searched the whole house but failed to get any evidence implicating him to any wrong doing. They instead took his two phones and laptop. Minutes later they handcuffed, face masked him and drove with him in a white double cabin to unidentified location. They also tortured him,” Kitaka revealed.
“Even after leaving the country with Nabagesera, people suspected to be security officers used to call Mabirizi’s girlfriend asking for his whereabouts.”
He was later taken to a safe house where they contained him for almost a fortnight before being produced in court.
“On their way to the safe house, the officers asked my client whether he did not know that the woman he helped to escape was a wife to a well placed person in the country and that she was pregnant for him. They asked him several times as well as accusing him of kidnap. That is when Mabirizi released that, he is being cornered because of helping Nabagesera,” said Kitaka.