Victims of the 2021 electoral violence in Kyotera district are still struggling to regain their full lives a year later. Nineteen opposition sympathizers, largely youths were kidnapped from their homes in Kasaali and Kyotera town councils in Kyotera district on the night of January 8th, 2021, and detained in unknown places for two and half months.
They were dropped in different areas along Kyotera-Mutukula highway on March 26th, 2021. Despite regaining freedom from the hands of state security agents, the victims are still struggling to rebuild their livelihoods and regain their proper health.
Ronald Muwonge and Sulait Kyambadde are some of the victims. They explain that during their arrest, security operatives accused them of organizing political insurrections during the elections and tortured them badly.
Muwonge says that in addition to emotional stress, the victims are also suffering from strange health complications, which occasioned the gross mistreatment and torture they suffered during the period they stayed in confinement.
He explains that they are still facing the reoccurrence of strange health conditions that include the peeling off parts of their skins, muscle and joint pains, and regular body allergies. Kyambadde narrates that he can hardly do hard labour from, which he was earning a living, and as result; the situation has rendered him so helpless.
Farouk Matovu, Derick Ssebugyenyi, and Barack Kyazze who were earning their survival from the construction as builders and farming accuse their captors of injecting them with unknown substances that gravely affected their physical strength and caused them chronic sicknesses.
Ssebugenyi says that they also lost their household properties that were stolen during their absence resulting from their abduction. He says that the majority of the victims literally have nothing to support their survival.
Ronald Kawuki, who is also one of the victims of the abduction, says that he has since not regained his manhood resulting from the severe kicking by his abductors. He says that he is currently surviving on begging from sympathizers, arguing that he can hardly do hard labour, which previously sustained him.
Apparently, the victims have sought the intervention of the Uganda Human Rights Commission to enable them to access justice and pursue compensation from the state, which they accuse of violating their rights.
Farouk Nyende, the Uganda Human Rights Commission-UHRC Regional Officer in Charge of greater Masaka, says that their office is following all cases of kidnaps that occurred during the elections to ensure that the victims receive justice.