Emmanuel Magezi, a Rwandan national who was reportedly arrested by operatives from the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence-CMI in Mbarara district is dead. Magezi is said to have been picked up by CMI operatives led by Major Mushambo together with Theogen Sendegeya in March 2019.
They were allegedly detained at Makenke Military Barracks in Mbarara before being transferred to Mbuya military barracks in Kampala. On January 31st, 2020, their lawyer, Eron Kiiza filed an application in the Civil Division of High Court in Kampala demanding for their production in court.
He also demanded for an explanation from the army and Government about the illegal detention of his clients for ten months without any charges being brought against them. The application is scheduled for hearing on Monday next week.
However, Kiiza says they that they have since received information that Magezi died in Kirinya Ward in Butabika Mental Hospital.
A copy of a letter signed by the Officer in Charge of Criminal Investigations Department at Butabika Police Station confirms that Magezi died on January 21, 2020 around 9am. In the letter, the OC CID asks a Police Surgeon to go to City mortuary and examine Magezi’s body, which was entered under reference number 06/21/01/2020.
The Kampala Metropolitan Police Spokesperson, Patrick Onyango confirmed the developments.
“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.
Adding that, “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 URN to the Director Clinical Services who said she wasn’t in position to talk because she was attending a funeral.
Major Charles Kabbona, the Makenke Military Barracks Spokesperson also said he wasn’t in office and promised to provide the little information he has on the matter on Tuesday next week. The Defense Ministry and UPDF Spokesperson, Brigadier Richard Karemire declined to comment, saying he doesn’t know anything about the matter.
News of the death of Magezi is likely to further strain the relationship between Uganda and Rwanda. The two countries have been trying to mend their relations following accusations by the Kigali government against Uganda for supporting its dissidents and illegally arresting and detaining in its citizens in none gazetted areas.
President, Yoweri Museveni has since held three meetings with his Rwandan counterpart, Paul Kagame to end the hostility between the two sister countries, which saw Rwanda close Gatuna border last year.