“I fled to get my voice back. I fled to get my mind back. I fled to get my freedom back,” Nyanzi instructed CNN in a cellphone interview on Thursday, explaining that this was one in all a number of abductions of individuals near her which triggered her to flee.
Museveni was re-elected for a sixth time period after 35 years of rule, amid a nationwide web shutdown and heavy safety presence within the capital, Kampala, that prevented extra mass protests on election week. Bobi Wine, whose actual identify is Robert Kyagulanyi, rejected the election as rigged and referred to as on the nation to dismiss the outcomes.
Nyanzi did not win her seat, and every week after the vote, her associate, David Musiri — a member of Bobi Wine’s National Unity Platform — was kidnapped from his automotive alongside together with his brother, she mentioned.
“David was pushed into the boot of a private saloon car and driven off to an unmarked facility where he was tortured during interrogation,” Nyanzi mentioned. “His genitals were squeezed so badly, his body was beaten and bruised, and nobody knew where he was for a couple of days.”
CNN has not been capable of independently corroborate what occurred to Musiri on account of considerations about his security. The Ugandan authorities referred a request for remark to the police, who didn’t reply to CNN’s queries.
Several Ugandan lawmakers have raised the problem of “rampant” kidnappings, criticizing the “total disregard of the arrest procedures by police and other security agencies.”
“I think that the abductions of unarmed civilians, kidnappings of political actors who belong to the opposition in Uganda, their arrests without warrant … was a distant human rights violation until it struck very close to home,” Nyanzi mentioned.
Four individuals who have been discovered have since been arrested for aiding and abetting terrorism, he mentioned, whereas seven others had been arrested and launched on bail, although he didn’t point out their fees.
“I have tried to give an update on the continuous incidents of alleged kidnap. Investigations are ongoing and I undertake to give progress of these investigations with time,” Odongo mentioned. He added that authorities would “investigate each and every one of the reported incidents.”
He made no particular reference to the alleged abduction of Nyanzi’s associate.
Nyanzi was first imprisoned in 2017 for a month after posting a Facebook poem criticizing Uganda’s first woman, Janet Museveni, for failing to ship on her promise to offer sanitary pads to schoolgirls.
When Nyanzi fled on the finish of January, she mentioned she was fearful she is perhaps “abducted” once more, or worse.
“I fled so that I can live tomorrow, to keep being a proud Ugandan and keep contributing to the liberation struggle. I fled also to give my children an opportunity to live in safety and security, and to have access to their mother,” she mentioned.
Nyanzi crossed the border into Kenya by bus with Wasswa, one in all her 13-year-old twin sons. Her different youngsters Kato, 13, and Baraka, 16, had left with Nyanzi’s sister every week earlier.
They have all been supplied asylum-seeker passes whereas the Kenyan authorities think about their claims for refugee standing, Nyanzi mentioned.
An anthropologist by career, Nyanzi ran headfirst into politics after she was launched from jail on attraction final February, saying her electoral marketing campaign by June.
Despite being a controversial determine, Nyanzi gained recognition for her activism and was put ahead because the Kampala Woman MP candidate for the Forum for Democratic Change, one of many main opposition events, and had hopes of profitable. “We were very expectant. We had no idea that we were going to score third” mentioned Nyanzi, who described the “disappointment and pain experienced by her campaign team after she lost the vote.
“I’m very grateful that Kenya had open doorways and was capable of obtain me right now,” Nyanzi told CNN. While the activist and her family wait for their refugee status to come through, she says she is going to be writing, as well as doing something else she is less well-versed in — resting.
“I’ve had essentially the most hectic 5 years and I feel that I deserve a break,” Nyanzi told CNN. “I need to recuperate, I need to care for myself mentally, emotionally, bodily — strengthen my power reserves, after which come again to the larger wrestle.