Members of Parliament spent five hours doing on-spot visits to four locations they suspected to be safe houses in Kampala, allegedly used by the Internal Security Organisation (ISO) as torture chambers.
Their visit followed three weeks of investigation into the alleged torture of civilians by ISO led by Col Kaka Bagyenda, who has been summoned and is expected to appear before the same committee today to explain what happens in these facilities.
Igara West Member of Parliament Raphael Magyezi said Col Kaka is also expected to explain why the MPs cannot access these safe houses.
“The issue of safe houses is not contested anymore. But again, why don’t you want to allow the committee of the human rights to access these houses. The Director General should be ready to answer all these questions tomorrow (today),” Mr Magyezi said.
Gen Elly Tumwine, the security Minister, told the committee two weeks ago that Parliament must go through the Attorney General to invite col Kaka.
But Mr Magyezi said: “The Director General has been invited. If he doesn’t come, it will be contempt of Parliament. We don’t need to go through the Attorney General to summon anybody to the Committee. This Committee has the powers of High Court.”
During their visit to a safe house in Kyengera on Nkonkonjeru Road, they were denied access. This facility is about 500 metres off Kampala-Masaka road in Kyengera Town.
It is heavily guarded with soldiers, security cameras placed in different corners of the concrete fence, and peeping through the fence, soldiers have erected tents in a big compound with mango and palm trees.
When the legislators reached its closed gate, one of the soldiers, who identified himself as Vicente Kalibala, told them through a small opening of the gate lock that they were not welcome.