MPs should go through us if they want to see inside the safe houses says ISO boss, Col.Kaka Bagyenda
The Internal Security Organisation Director-General, Col.Kaka Bagyenda has told legislators to use rightful procedures in case they want to be granted access to visit the safe houses.
According to Col.Kaka Bagyenda, Members of Parliament should first seek permission from ISO before they can get into these houses.
“The other day they went to see safe houses, did they see them? If they had come through us, we would have shown them where they are,” said Col. Bagyenda.
Earlier this month, Members of Parliament who sits on the Human Rights Committee of Parliament has been denied the access to safe houses in Kampala.
They were denied access inside the houses as they tried to embark on investigations about allegations of increased cases of torture and mistreatment of suspects.
We wanted to find out where these safe houses are and whether people are tortured there,” indicated the Buvuma Woman member of Parliament Nantume Egunyu on the day they were stopped from accessing these special houses.
Notably, MPs were locked out of the gate as they tried to access two of the houses, both in Kyengera and Nalukolongo respectively.
While responding to questions regarding allegations of tortured criminals from safe houses, the ISO Director General claimed that these are false accusations.
Col.Kaka Bagyenda also noted that ISO does not torture suspects as it is reported but rather it just keeps suspects in custody as investigations go on.
“Torturing suspects is not part of our standard operating procedures and, if it was so, I would have started with Sobbi (Paddy Sserunjogi).
When you do that (torture), you will not get the truth but complete lies from the suspects. A determined enemy cannot give you the information you need after torturing them,” said Col. Bagyenda before calling upon any victims to come up and pinpoint the mistreaters.
Besides, he stated that most people who claim to be victims of torture are collaborators with legislators and other politicians aiming to display ISO’s weaknesses.
“While in the bush war, I was the intelligence officer of the mobile brigade that captured Kampala but I never tortured anyone. They can vilify me but I want witnesses to come and pin me on torturing them,” Col. Bagyenda said before adding that MPs are ignorant about the Security Agency’s activities but yet pretend to be knowing much.
“Some politicians (MPs) are ignored because it is not their professional area. They, therefore, should not pretend to know more than we do.”
By John Dalton Kigozi