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Bobi Wine Finally speaks out on how he was tortured to near death

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By Staff Writer

Musician cum politician Bobi wine has spoken out on the torture he went through in Arua. The Member of Parliament shared his ordeal at the hands of security forces in a long Facebook post that has left many in tears judging my the comments. Take a look.

Fellow Ugandans, friends and well-wishers from around the world,

I am sorry, I have taken a bit long to write to you about the trials and tribulations, for which you all stood with me. It’s been tough days, as I recover from the physical and mental trauma I endured. I am overwhelmed by your support and words of encouragement. I cannot repay you in any other way, except sticking to those values which bind all of us together- justice, equality and human dignity.

I will be communicating more in the coming days and where possible send my appreciation to the different individuals and organizations. In this post however, I want to recount what exactly happened to me. I am very grateful to my wife Barbie, and my lawyers who narrated to the world these events, but I also wanted to tell this sad story PERSONALLY. I felt more compelled to speak out after reading the many posts written by President Museveni and other government officials about what happened.

I read the things they were saying while I was in detention, and found them absurd to say the least. I was shocked on how they tried to downplay the atrocities committed by security agencies on innocent citizens.
So let me set the record straight.

It was 13th August and it was the last day of campaigns in the Arua municipality by-election. As always we had a great campaign day. As I left the rally, I was convinced that our candidate Hon. Kassiano Wadri would win the election. So we moved from the rally at about 5:30pm and the people followed us, singing songs of freedom and chanting “People Power – Our Power.” Together with Hon. Kassiano and a few other leaders, we parted with the multitude, bade them farewell and went into Royal hotel where Hon. Wadri was staying.

We watched the 7:00pm news from the hotel lobby as we took tea and took stock of the day’s events. It was of course very exciting to watch that day’s news. The anchor said we were clearly ahead of the other candidates and the television relayed images of the massive rally and procession we had had on that day. Shortly after, I decided to move to Pacific hotel where I was staying so as to rest after the very busy day. It was at that point that I sat in my tundra vehicle, in the co-driver’s seat. The gentleman who was driving the tundra that day is one of our drivers (not Yasin). He moved out of the vehicle to call other team members who were supposed to drive with us. He took a bit long and I moved into my other vehicle (a land cruiser) which was right next to the tundra and whose driver was already seated on the driver’s seat. We immediately set off for Pacific hotel. I did not even see what happened after or how late Yasin ended up on my seat in the tundra. For clarity, he had been driving another vehicle that day.

I had started taking the stairs to my room when this driver came running to say that Yasin Kawuma had been shot. I could not believe it. I asked him where he was and he told me they were parked outside the hotel. We paced down and I saw with my own eyes, my friend and comrade Yasin, giving way as he bled profusely. I quickly asked a team member to take him to hospital and another to call the police. We had not stepped away from that place when angry looking SFC soldiers came, beating up everyone they could see.

As soon as they saw me, they charged saying “there he is” in Swahili. So many bullets were being fired and everyone scampered to safety. I also ran up into the hotel with a throng of people who had gathered around. Inside the hotel, I entered a random room and locked myself in. It is at that point that my media assistant shared with me Yasin’s picture which I tweeted because the world needed to know what was going on.

I could hear the people outside and in the hotel corridors crying for help. I could also hear the soldiers pulling these helpless people past the room in which I was, saying all sorts of profanities to them while beating them mercilessly.

I stayed in the room for a long time. At some point, I heard soldiers pull some woman out of her room and ask her which room Bobi Wine had entered. The woman wailed saying she didn’t know and what followed were terrible beatings. I could hear her cry and plead for help as she was being dragged down the stairs. Up to now, that is one experience that haunts me; that I could hear a woman cry for help, yet I was so vulnerable and helpless. I could not help her.

I stayed put for some hours, and I could hear the soldiers come every few minutes, bang some doors on my floor or other floors and go away. At different times I would sleep off, but was always rudely awakened by the banging of doors and the impatient boots that paced throughout the hotel for the whole night. In the wee hours of the morning, the soldiers started breaking doors of the different hotel rooms. With rage, they broke doors, and I knew they would soon come to my room. I therefore put my wallet and phone into my socks. I also had with me some money which I had earned from a previous music show. I also put it into the socks.

A few minutes later, a soldier hit my door with an iron bar and after two or three attempts the door fell in. We looked each other in the eye as he summoned his colleagues in Swahili. Another soldier pointed a pistol on my head and ordered me to kneel down. I put my hands up and just before my knees could reach the floor, the soldier who broke into the room used the same iron bar to hit me. He aimed it at my head and I put up my hand in defence so he hit my arm. The second blow came straight to my head on the side of my right eye. He hit me with this iron bar and I fell down. In no minute, all these guys were on me- each one looking for the best place to hurt. I can’t tell how many they were but they were quite a number.

They beat me, punched me, and kicked me with their boots. No part of my body was spared. They hit my eyes, mouth and nose. They hit my elbows and my knees. Those guys are heartless!

As they dragged me out of the room, they continued to hit me from all sides. After some time, I could almost no longer feel the pain. I could only hear what they were doing from a far. My cries and pleas went unheeded. The things they were speaking to me all this while, I cannot reproduce here. Up to now, I cannot understand how these soldiers who I probably had never met before in person could hate me so much.

They wrapped me in a thick piece of cloth and bundled me into a vehicle. Those guys did to me unspeakable things in that vehicle! They pulled my manhood and squeezed my testicles while punching me with objects I didn’t see. They pulled off my shoes and took my wallet, phone and the money I had. As soon as the shoes were off, they started hitting my ankles with pistol butts. I groaned in pain and they ordered me to stop making noise for them. They used something like pliers to pull my ears. Some guy unwrapped me and instead tied the thick cloth around my head. They forced my head below the car seat so as to stop me from shouting. Then they hit my back and continued to hit my genitals with objects. The marks on my back, ankles, elbows, legs and head are still visible. I continued to groan in pain and the last I heard was someone hit me at the back of the head with an object – I think a gun butt or something. That was the last time I knew what was going on.

By the time I became conscious again, I was somewhere in a small room with a small window. My legs were tied together with my hands with very tight cuffs. I was bleeding from the nose and ears. I was in great pain. My whole body was swollen. I was shaking uncontrollably.

Two soldiers came in. I can now recall that they were visibly pleased to see that I was still alive. They came close to me. One of them apologized in tears about what had happened. “Bobi, I am sorry but not all of us are like that. Some of us actually like you,” he said. He said that doctors were on their way to treat me. I stayed in the same position and after a few hours, about four soldiers came in and lifted me on a piece of cloth. One of them took a picture of me, (I hope to see that picture some day in my life). As we went out, I read “Arua airfield’ somewhere. I was taken into a waiting military helicopter and taken to a place which I later found out was Gulu 4th Division military barracks. It was at that facility that some military doctors came in and started giving me injections.

At that point I could not even complain as I was not yet fully alert. I was very dizzy and had not eaten or drank anything for many hours. My sight was very weak as well. I spent the night there. Late in the night, I was picked again from this detention facility. With my head covered with a dark cloth that felt like a t-shirt, I was taken to Gulu Police Station where I was forced to sign a written statement by an officer called Francis Olugo in the presence of some other officer who I later learnt is the CID head of Gulu. I can hardly recall what was contained in that statement! I was then returned to Gulu military barracks, put on a metallic bed and handcuffed on it. Very early morning, I was picked from this room and taken to another very secluded and dirty room where I was put on another bed, hand-cuffed again and injected with a drug that immediately sent me into a deep sleep.

The following day I can recall that at some point, Hon. Medard Ssegona and Hon. Asuman Basalirwa came to me. My efforts to rise and speak to them didn’t yield much. The moment they saw me, they could hardly hold tears. I have a faint recollection of what they told me, but their visit was very short.

I was later carried into a hall where I saw soldiers dressed smartly. I would lie if I said I fully appreciated what was going on at that point. I was later told that I was appearing before the General Court Martial!!!

After a short while, I was again carried into a military helicopter.

When it landed, I was put into a vehicle and driven to another place which I later found out was Makindye military barracks.

At Makindye, I was now fully alert and had a drink for the first time after two or three days. I saw doctors come in several times and they gave me all kinds of injections. At some point, I tried to object and these guys would hold my arms from behind and inject me anywhere. If I asked what drug it was, the guy would say something like, “This is diclofenac, can’t you see?” At some point, some guy came in and wanted to stitch my ear which had an open wound. I pleaded with him not to, and he relented. All the while I was spending the day and night with my hands and legs cuffed until a few days later. Thankfully although the scars are still visible, the wound on my ear healed.

It was after some time at Makindye that I was able to see my wife and my brother Eddy Yawe, who came in with some lawyers, some friends and dignitaries from the Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC). I will never forget the atmosphere in that room- people started crying upon setting eyes on me. At that point, I could not sit, walk or even stand by myself. I was still swollen and spoke with great difficulty due to chest pains. My teeth were shaking and the headache was unbearable. I am thankful that the UHRC made a report which I later read. At least it captured in part, the state in which they found me. As the government agency mandated to fight human rights violations, I am eagerly waiting to see what actions they will take to ensure that no Ugandan is taken through this ever again. Not even President Museveni. I cannot wish what happened to me upon anyone. Not even those soldiers who violated me as if they were beasts. I remember two other things about that visit. Despite the pain I had that day, I remember forcing a smile when they told me that I had been charged with unlawful possession of firearms.

I was told that three guns had been assembled and said to have been found in my room! I could not believe that the state would torture a Ugandan so bad and then frame him with possession of guns! I did not stop thinking about that for all the days I spent at Makindye. How ruthless, how callous, how inhumane could these guys be? It was also on that day that I was told about the alleged stoning of the President’s vehicle.

The other thing I remember is this- I asked my visitors if we had won the Arua election. They told me we had won with a big margin and I thanked God. That strengthened my spirit because I knew that the people were with us, even in the kind of sufferings and indignities we were being subjected to.

I was very sad as I am today, that they murdered my brother Yasin in cold blood and did not allow me to bury him. They told me about my other comrades who were also incarcerated and I kept praying for them. (Of course every visitor had to speak to me in the presence of military personnel.) Although I was very pleased to see all visitors, when I was released, I read the comments which some of the visitors made to the press (particularly government officials). I felt sad that we have a lot of dishonest, cold people who don’t care riding on someone’s tragedy for political capital. I want to believe that we are better than that, dear Ugandans.

Anyway, while at Makindye I was briefed that I was expected in court on 23rd August, about nine days after I was taken there. Some military doctors continued to come in to inject me, wash my wounds and give me pain killers. At night on two occasions, I was put into military vehicles and driven to Kampala Imaging Centre for scans. I could not object or even ask questions. I am worried because one of the machines seemed very dangerous. As soon as I was placed into it and it was switched on, the doctors ran to a safe distance and started seeing me from a small window. It was there that the radiologist told me how one of my kidneys and back had been damaged during the assault. I was however not given any written medical report by the military.

It was clear they wanted me to appear in better shape at the next time of my court appearance and they did everything possible to achieve that. A day or two at Makindye, this guy was candid. He told me it was in my interest to eat well, take in all the medicine and look better by 23rd or else they would not allow the press to see me and I would be remanded again until I was presentable enough! They even forcefully shaved my hair and beards. When I hesitated, this soldier told me, ‘gwe osaaga’ (You are kidding). Two of them held my hands from behind and shaved me by force. At some point, they insisted I must wear a suit for my next appearance before the court martial and asked me to tell my wife to bring me one. I also insisted that I did not have it. At another point I hesitated to allow some eye drops for my right eye which was very red and swollen. I always wanted to know what drugs I was being given. These guys held my arms from behind and one of them literally poured the entire bottle into my eye! Later, the military doctor also provided me with a crutch to aid me in walking. At that point, I was able to stand up, although with difficulty. When you hear all this you may think that all our soldiers are brutal. Far from that, most of them are wonderful people. There are many I interacted with during this ordeal who were extremely professional and sympathetic. It was hard to comprehend how people serving the same force, putting on the same uniform could be very different in appreciation and approach to a citizen of Uganda.

When I was taken back to Gulu on 23rd, I was very happy to see the people who came to court including family members, comrades in the struggle and lawyers. I cannot explain how I felt when the lawyer for the army said that charges of unlawful possession of firearms had been dropped. I did not feel vindicated. I was not excited. I was not moved. I just cannot explain how I felt. I just remembered what these people had done to me and tears came to my eyes. Shortly after, I was rearrested right in front of the courtroom and taken to Gulu prison. At the military prison, I was wearing a red uniform – this time, I was given a yellow one.

Friends, you cannot believe that you can be happy to be in prison but that day I was. I was very happy to leave solitary military confinement and meet up with colleagues who were being held at the Gulu prison. That night I was taken to Lachor hospital in Gulu- other tests and scans were conducted. At that point I was feeling better, especially psychologically since I had reunited with my comrades in the struggle.

Later that night the prison authorities decided to take me into the sickbay as opposed to staying with the other comrades. The other comrades led by Hon. Wadri protested. I could hear them bang the doors of their cell. The following day I was allowed to stay with them. The following day I was allowed to stay with them. This is when I interacted with the other 32 colleagues who had been arrested in the Arua fracas. Being in the same prison ward with Hon. Gerald Karuhanga, Hon. Paul Mwiru, Hon. Kassiano Wadri, Hon. Mike Mabike, John Mary Sebuufu and many other comrades made it feel like a boarding school. It was not a very happy reunion though. Because of the torture some of our comrades had been permanently injured. I cannot forget the pain which Shaban Atiku was going through. He spent every day and night groaning. The doctors had told him he would never walk again because his back had been permanently broken. Sadly, the world may never know him, but he will never go out of my mind. He would later collapse during a court session at Gulu. When I later met the women who were brutalised, it was very painful to see them and listen to their stories.

Many times we joked about the possibility of being hanged if the regime decided to give us the maximum penalty of the offence we had been charged with! This got many of our comrades silent.

Away from these sad moments, the overall prison leader had a box guitar in the ward and together we sang songs of freedom all night. This was the routine every night until we appeared before the Gulu High Court a few days later, for our bail hearing.

My next communication will be a vote of thanks to the world for the overwhelming support and comradeship. I will also talk about what I think we must do together to continue this struggle for liberty and freedom.

I am glad that authorities finally have bowed to your pressure and #HonZaake has been given bond to travel for urgent specialised treatment and I join the world to demand authorities to #FreeEddyMutwe and other political prisoners. WE SHALL OVERCOME.

PS:
1. Please ignore calls from my phone number (0752013306). It was taken from me by soldiers and am told they’re using it to call my friends pretending it is me.

2. Please ignore any communication from other social media accounts and pages under my name apart from this one (with a blue tick) and my verified twitter account (also with a blue tick).

Hon. Kyagulanyi Ssentamu aka Bobi Wine
#PeoplePower_OurPower

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Specials/Features

Subaru Officially Uganda’s Fastest Growing Car Brand

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By Staff Writer

Subaru is unofficially the fastest growing car brand in Uganda at the moment. You could call it the car for the baby class of 1986 to 1994. It is basically the car for the M7 Bazzukulu. Thanks to the growing mechanics confidence in repairing the car, and the increased availability of spares.

Away from that, Subaru is a car that was surely designed for speed. The accelerator will always tempt one seated behind the wheels of a subaru. Not many cars have that fast acceleration from zero to a hundred. You understand why many subarus are flying.

One brand to watch in particular is the Subaru Outback, probably one that was designed to give you a taste of every good thing Subaru has to offer. It was designed with the functionalities of an SUV, pimped up with the speed of a Legacy. It is as solid as they come. Basically hits many birds with one stone. For those in love of road trips, this is the car. They tend to come with an Economic and Sport functionality. On a normal day, you can choose to drive in the economical version, you would probably want to test the sport on a great road.

For now, any clever mechanic should be preparing a customized package for Subaru clients. The brand has taken the young male and females by storm. It is going to keep taking share of market and growing brand affinity. Any mechanic that sells a Subaru package is going to enjoy the coming years so does any person selling subaru spares.

Of course Subaru will have to compete for this share of market with growing entrants such as Wishes, Runx and Fielders, not forgetting the famous bread car aka Passo.

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Rules You Must Follow regularly for a healthy skin

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By Staff Writer

You must have a healthy skin care routine in order to have a glowy skin inside out. Having perfect skin is important to keep yourself confident and happy with your appearance. You can follow certain tips in the form of rules in order to make your skin gentle and rejuvenated. If you are having any special skin disease then you must visit a dermatologist before using any of the suggested solutions to keep your skin secure from any sorts of allergies. The type of environment that we live in contains many free radicals that are quite harmful to your skin. There are many skin sensitive issues that can change your complete look and you might feel the need for a regimen that can steadily restore your skin back to normal. 

Diet

You must choose a healthy diet because what goes inside your stomach gets reflected on your face and tummy. You must drink eight glasses of water every day in order to keep your body hydrated in the required amount. Your skin needs water to restore the glow and these are some of the skin regimens that are not hard but necessary to follow. We generally fail to acknowledge their importance in our everyday lives. Talking in terms of diet, you must follow a clean and nutritional dietary routine in order to look healthy in every manner.

  • Try to eat healthy, whole food items and assortments and avoid junk food, especially the ones that contain a lot of oil and are at high temperature(avoid too hot food).
  • Eat fruits and leafy vegetables that facilitate the production of collagen. Spinach, carrot, and beetroot are really good for maintaining healthy skin. You can consume them in the form of juices if not in vegetables.

By following these simple dietary rules you can convert them into your habits and they will protect your skin from sagging and wrinkles for a long span. 
Food items and Beverages 

There are some food items and drinks that can have a toll on your skin in the short or long term. You must be aware of the food items and alcoholic beverages that you might take in the future but you should avoid them to prevent your skin health. Avoid all kinds of salty food and alcoholic drinks. We all are aware of the fact that alcohol and salty food items are not great for our overall body health as well. This gives us a valid reason to avoid them. Alcohol contains such toxins that can make your skin complexion dull without you knowing that. Extra salt triggers a breakout.

Desire Luzinda

Be gentle to your Skin

You might be really careful towards your skincare but that does not suggest that what you are following as a daily skin regimen is healthy for your skin type. Your skin should not be treated with burning hot water. Especially your face and scalp must not come in contact with hot water. Your face contains oil that should not depart your skin. Hot water strips off the essential oil from your skin. 

Lukewarm Water

Use warm water whenever you are bathing and stop bathing for long hours because that is something not refreshing for your skin and has drawbacks. Hot water causes dandruff which can be really frustrating and can cause itching and facial diseases. Use natural products for bathing and washing your skin. The chemical friendly products reduce the probability of allergy. Choose organic cleansers and shaving products that do not provide bumps and ingrown hair. If you are further interested to learn how to avoid ingrown hairs then check out the razors that do not lead to razor bumps and you do not get any ingrown hair. There are such shaving kits that contain such good quality razors.

After Bathing Essentials

Do not be harsh while drying your skin after having a bath. Pat your dry skin with soft hands such that you are not rubbing the water off harshly and with patting your skin surface is able to absorb the moisture. Buy the moisturizer that is rich in SPF and natural extracts. Try to use the moisturizer on your face and body as soon as you get done with your bath.

Visit a Dermatologist

It is best to take the advice of a professional. Rather than our beauty salon, a dermatologist can look at your skin diseases better. You should visit a dermatologist at regular intervals because under his/her assistance you can keep a track of your skin health. There are many such diseases related to our skin that can stay for long and can give you an unnatural look. Avoid self-medication and do not undermine your skin impairments for long.

Last Few Words

Throughout we have paid emphasis on following a skin regimen that compliments your skin health. You can pay close attention to your habits that are a part of your daily routine and affect your skin. You can choose to sustain a beautiful connection between your mind and body with this rulebook in your actions.

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Exponential Growth of a Newly Rising Denomination ‘Shincheonji Church of Jesus’ in the Republic of Korea

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By Staff Writer

In just over a year, 103764, people graduated after completing a Bible study in Shincheonji…this is an unprecedented phenomenon that is taking place globally.  

Due of the corruption and the secularization of today’s religious world, a great number of people are coming to Shincheonji to study the Bible and to fill their spiritual needs. Although there is a decrease in the number of people who identify themselves with a religion worldwide, there also was a rare phenomenon of 103764 people streaming into a church called Shincheonji, church of Jesus, the Temple of the Tabernacle of the Testimony (a newly rising denomination in the Republic of Korea) in a short time of a year.   

On November 10th 2019, Shincheonji held a graduation with 103764 graduates that completed a Bible study offered in Shincheonji. Shincheonji offers a free 6-month Bible study course that one must complete in order to be registered as a church member.    

The graduation took place in the province of Gyeonggi-do with a total of 101,286 people who passed their graduation exam after studying the Bible in its entirety. Approximately 50,000 were present in the audience and the graduation was broadcasted in other major cities of Korea. International graduates overseas also participated through live stream broadcast. 

Having 103764 graduates is equivalent to having 100 churches of 1,000 congregation members, which is greatly different from the drastic fall of the number of congregation members seen globally in the world of religion. Shincheonji is the only place in the world where 103764 people come after completing an in-depth Bible study.   

A survey conducted on the 103764, graduates showed that 41.7% were believers practicing their faith under pre-existing denominations such as Protestantism, Catholicism, and others. Additionally, the reason why they decided to go to Shincheonji was because of its “sublime teaching of the Word.” A graduate said, “In a traditional church, I was not able to fill my spiritual hunger; however, in Shincheonji I was able to fill it with the words of the Bible and understand a clear purpose of my life as a Christian,” and he continued on to say, “numerous people are leaving their churches due to the corruption and secularization that is prevalent in many churches today, but Shincheonji helps believers to have a logical and a clear understanding of what it means to be reborn with the Word. Therefore, I chose to go Shincheonji.”  

It is incredible to see a 103764, person graduation; however, what is more shocking is that Shincheonji – which is teaching the fulfillment of Revelation and has been growing at an incredibly rapid pace since 1984— is labeled as a “cult” by the Christian world of the Republic of Korea.  

To the major allegations made against Shincheonji such as “Shincheonji claims that the founder of Shincheonji is the One Who Overcomes,” and “Shincheonji hides their true identity when evangelizing and brainwashes the people with their teaching,” the graduates reported that those are all false accusations.   

A graduate stated, “For the past 6 months of Bible study, I saw if it’s true that Shincheonji makes people quit jobs, divorce, and leave their homes, and I realized that those were false rumors and far from the truth. I am thankful that I had a chance to study the Bible for the past 6 months and to see for myself that Shincheonji’s teaching of the Bible is biblical and logical.”

Another graduate stated that there are times when Shincheonji does not reveal their church when evangelizing; however, this is because traditional churches spread false rumors about Shincheonji that people do not want to study the life giving words of the Bible due to the fear of such accusations being true. The reason why evangelism is done in such way is to be fair and give a chance for everyone to judge using the standard of the words of the Bible.

The people of Christianity in the Republic of Korea responded to the rapid growth of Shincheonji by saying, “Everyone in the world of religion must repent for becoming entangled with the world, interfering with politics, and losing trust of believers. It seems that those who want to carry out a genuine life of faith wandered off and ended up in Shincheonji.” 

However, Shincheonji states that 95% of those who chose to come to Shincheonji (according to the survey done on graduates) is because of the excellent teaching of Bible. Shincheonji teaches the Bible in its entirety from the book of Genesis to Revelation in half a year, and the greatest difference between traditional churches and Shincheonji is the only place that teaches the fulfillment of the prophecies of Revelation. 

The graduation will be the starting point of Shincheonji’s continuous growth. Because the 103764 graduates have fulfilled a 100% evangelism rate, there are currently there are 200,000 people (will change) that are studying the Bible in Shincheonji. If Shincheonji continues to grow at this pace, then within 3 years Shincheonji will reach a million congregation members, and the status quo of the religious world will change. 

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