A combined force of army and police at St. Luke Church of Uganda-Ntinda. Photo credit, Daily Monitor.

Today August 30, 2018 prayers for the 33 opposition members captured and tortured in Arua were held at the St. Luke Church of Uganda-Ntinda where former head of opposition Winnie Kizza and Miriam Matembe were in attendance amongst several other concerned citizens and well-wishers.

Lawyer, Andrew Karamagi was also present to defend the religious congregation and point out the various rights that were being abused by the security detail sent to stop the gathering.

The mass that was organised by the Women for Uganda Initiative was held earlier this morning and led by Rev. Diane Nkesiga who urged Ugandans to act and use their abilities to fight for their country. The congregators who comprised of central political figures were also dressed in white to symbolize the neutrality of these prayers despite being affiliated to various political institutions.

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This however, was not enough to warrant them neither the privacy nor the respect deserved from the soldiers that stomped the Church grounds and stopped the prayers in an act of sacrilege and violation against the Constitution of Uganda that protects individual freedom of worship.

This follows shortly after several witnesses and victims came forth to narrate publicly the painful and life threatening ordeals they went through at the hands of Police and government security. One torture victim Anne Abola went even further to mention Jonathan Musinguzi, former Regional Police Commander-West Nile as one of her assailants who went as far as placing a gun on her forehead and threatened to end her life in an effort to get Bobi Wine’s whereabouts.

The chaos and havoc that ensued after the death of one Yassin Kawuma, driver to Robert Kyagulanyi during the Arua elections saw a number of 33 members of opposition behind bars including the torture and maiming of Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine and other members of his team.

The unlawful arrest and torture of these opposition members has led to a general outcry from both the citizens of Uganda and the international community under the popular ’FreeBobiwine’ hashtag on social media where countless voices have come out to call for the release of the victims and the resignation of President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni and his regime.

Despite the presence of SFC soldiers on the church premises, opposition member Winnie Kizza refused to be intimidated and went ahead to call upon all Ugandans to stand firm and in prayer: “We ask all Ugandans to stand with us in prayer on every first Monday of the Month for the recovery of all the Arua victims and our nation.”

The opposition members were released this week on bail from the magistrate’s court including Member of Parliament Robert Kyagulanyi who initially had been arraigned before court martial on charges of treason. Although the members are free, citizens continue to call for justice prompting the speaker of parliament Rebecca Kadaga to write a letter to the president calling for the punishment of the soldiers involved in the torture of civilians and members of opposition.

The army has since then come to chastise the use of force on civilians but little has been done to bring the culprits to