The Ugandan police force has released a statement on photos of tortured NUP supporter Ronald Segawa, claiming they are fake.
Police have offered to clarify photos of a National Unity Platform (NUP) supporter known as Ronald Segawa, who was allegedly abducted by security agencies and abandoned at Mulago Hospital thinking he had died after being tortured.
Segawa was later admitted to Mulago Hospital, but he is still in a coma, and immediately after approaching him, supporters and bloggers of the National Unity Platform began sharing photos of how he was tortured by security agencies.
In the shared photos, there was one that showed Segawa being beaten and having an open fracture in his hand. It is on this basis that the police have offered to clarify the matter through its official social media pages.
Police spokesman Fred Enanga said the photos shared were fake and were being funded by opposition parties to spread negative propaganda about the image of the police.
“We would like to inform the public that the gruesome photo of the tortured man, identified as Ronald Segawa, showed him with random bodily injuries, including an open fracture in his hand, and then went viral. The torture by the security forces is fake news and negative propaganda tactic, by opposition groups and its supporters., ”Enanga said.
The police disclosed that an investigations team has since identified that the pictures are of an accident victim identified as Nelima Sandra of Mooni ward, Industrial Division, Mbale City, who fell of a rock on the 27/01/2021 and sustained fractures on both arms and leg.
“Our task teams investigating the alleged torture, have meticulously verified that the image of a fractured hand attributed to Ronald Segawa , was of an accident victim identified as Nelima Sandra of Mooni ward, Industrial Division, Mbale City, who fell of a rock on the 27/01/2021, and sustained fractures on both arms and leg.”
The police, also, said that the images were smuggled from Mbale Regional Referral Hospital and are of Nelima Sandra (accident victim) who is currently undergoing medical treatment.
“When the victim was undergoing treatment and photoshopped to incite negative perceptions against security agencies. It is unfortunate that some media houses fell victim to the calculated and malicious propaganda by NUP including its Party President, who affirmed that the fractured hand belonged to their supporter Ronald Segawa, which is totally false. Apparently the hands of the alleged torture victim, Ronald Segawa are hidden in a calculated manner, in their deliberate attempt to sway public perception,” the police statement read further.
“The victim, Nelima Sandra is currently undergoing medical treatment and her medical expenses are being catered for by Elite Youth of Uganda, an NGO based in Mbale that is also fundraising for her major surgery. We believe sharing such images and related false narratives is deeply offensive to the victim, her family and Elite Youth Uganda, who are catering for her medical treatment in Mbale.”
The police, however, issued a strong warning to all those parties that fell victim in spreading the false news including media organizations to always first verify and collect clear facts before developing stories.
“We, therefore, strongly condemned the circulation of the gruesome photos, even without verification. We urge members of the public to ignore such negative propaganda aimed at eroding public confidence in the Joint Security Agencies, who are serving diligently to protect and secure our country. It is a well-coordinated smear campaign to negatively portray security agencies.”