Tortured mayor’s wife cries for help, seeks justice

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Three years ago, Viola Komugisha suffered a dislocation to her spine and found herself confined to her home. At 52, she gets around her house with the support of a walking aid.

She cannot leave her home; neither can she do any work to earn an income. Because of the ailment, she has had to take medication for the pain, which medication her husband always bought for her. But tragedy has struck again.

Her husband, Geoffrey Byamukama, the mayor of Kamwenge Town Council, was arrested last month in connection with the killing of former police spokesperson Andrew Felix Kaweesi and was allegedly tortured while in police custody.

Ms Komugisha has condemned the acts of violence committed against her husband, and is seeking justice.
“On Wednesday April 5, he left home to buy me medicine in Kampala. The medicine is quite expensive and we cannot afford to buy the full dose. Therefore, he buys one packet at a time, ” she said.

This time however, Komugisha waited for the medicine her husband promised her to no avail.

“On Thursday, he called and said he would send me the medicine on the bus. Thursday came, I waited, but the medicine was nowhere to be seen. So, I thought he would return with it on Saturday…,” Ms Komugisha added.

After several days of waiting, she called his number, but couldn’t get through to him. She then turned to ask her husband’s friends about his whereabouts.

Byamukama’s family searched high and low, but failed to get him. Three days later, Komugisha says she was informed that her husband had been arrested.

She says security agencies were not of much help. The family turned to prayer in their distress, until they eventually saw pictures of him, lying on a hospital bed, with deep frightening wounds on both knees and ankles.

The pictures that have since gone viral on social media have caused uproar. “If indeed he committed an offence, they should have charged him in court, instead of torturing him,” Ms Komugisha says.

The family also dismissed statements made by the police that Byamukama’s wounds were exacerbated by an existing medical condition.

Ms Komugisha says that the family is currently depending on hand-outs from friends and well-wishers to survive.

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