By Norman Isaac Mwambazi
Throughout this week, there has been a photo circulating on social media of one Ronald Ssegawa, a National Unity Platform (NUP) supporter, lying on a hospital bed with open wounds and in a lot of pain. It has been alleged that Ssegawa was kidnapped by security authorities and tortured by being beaten mercilessly, electrocuted, and had his fingernails plucked out.
In an interesting turn of events, Police have released a statement today where they claim that the photo in circulation that has even made it to some local television channels is actually not Ssegawa’s.
Police contend that the photo belongs to a one Nelima Sandra from Mooni ward, Industrial Division, Mbale City, who fell off a rock on January 27, 2021, and sustained fractures on both arms and leg.
Police say that this is negative propaganda by the opposition especially the NUP since its President Robert Kyagulanyi Sentamu alias Bobi Wine came out yesterday to comment about Ssegawa’s worrying situation.
“We wish to inform the public that the gruesome photo of a tortured male, identified as Ronald Ssegawa, that showed him with random body injuries including an open fractured wound on the hand, that has since gone viral, with the claim that the victim was tortured by security agencies, is FAKE news, and a negative propaganda tactic, by opposition groups and its sponsored network of bloggers,” the Police statement signed by the force’s spokesperson Fred Enanga reads in part.
It adds, “Our task teams investigating the alleged torture have meticulously verified that the image of a fractured hand attributed to Ronald Ssegawa, was of an accident victim identified as Nelima Sandra of Mooni ward, Industrial Division, Mbale City, who fell of a rock on the 27/01/2021 and sustained fractures on both arms and leg.”
The Police say that these images were smuggled from Mbale Regional Referral Hospital when the victim was undergoing treatment and photo-shopped to incite negative perceptions against security agencies.
In the statement, Police expressed its disappointment in some media houses for falling for this false story that is “calculated and malicious propaganda by NUP including its Party President, who affirmed that the fractured hand belonged to their supporter Ronald Ssegawa.”
Police have used the same statement to tell the public about their investigations into an attempted drive-by robbery on a boda-boda that occurred in Kansanga, Makindye, where the suspects were allegedly intercepted and tortured by a mob while trying to grab a bag from a female victim.
Some people have alleged, on social media that the Police are using this to portray Ssegawa as the robber in the case they are investigating.
Their investigations will help link or delink the alleged torture victim to the drive-by robbery.
The Police have condemned the general public about the circulation of the gruesome photos, even without verification and have urged the public to ignore such negative propaganda aimed at eroding public confidence in the Joint Security Agencies.
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