Museveni’s SFC killed “Sweet Pepsi”, says MP Kyagulanyi
By Moses Ssejjoba
The photo went viral world over on social media where a journalist working for the BBC downed his tools to administer first aid to a man who was bleeding profusely, having been beaten to pulp by Ugandan security forces. It touched millions across the world.
The helpless, lanky man in the photo was upcoming musician Hannington Ssewankambo, affectionately known around Kampala as Sweet Pepsi. This was in Kampala in September last year and Sweet Pepsi had just been beaten mercilessly by soldiers of the Special Forces Command (SFC).
Blood was oozing from all parts of his body. His crime? He had dared come out in a show of solidarity with fellow musician Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine, who was returning to Uganda from abroad where he had been receiving treatment.
Kyagulanyi, who is the Member of Parliament for Kyadondo East had himself been beaten into near coma by SFC goons. The goons had abducted and kept him into a “safe house”, where he was brutally tortured, and where he would languish for days suffering excruciating pain and with no medical care.
The brutality against Sweet Pepsi had been preceded by a similar ordeal by James Akena, a photojournalist who was on assignment for his employer Reuters, also to cover Bobi Wine.
Akena is now confined to a wheelchair having been incapacitated by the beating he got from the same SFC goons.
Back to Sweet Pepsi, the man finally breathed his last the preceding week. That was after a year of being in and out of different medical facilities.
“For joining other Ugandans in solidarity with me and our cause, this harmless and peaceful citizen was battered by those that were supposed to protect him,” said Bobi Wine who had joined family and friends for the send off of Sweet Pepsi in Kulambiro in the outskirts of Kampala.
Addressing mourners at the burial, Kyagulanyi called out the security forces, which continue to be a tool for the entrenchment of dictatorship while their sworn allegiance is to all Ugandans.
“The world saw what befell Sweet Pepsi at the hands of those paid to protect him,” Kyagulanyi told the multitudes of mourners. “He was a small, peaceful man but they did not hesitate to use their full force on him to an extent that he eventually lost his life.
“I will say it without any fear of contradiction that SFC killed Sweet Pepsi!” Kyagulanyi concluded.
He called out the special actors in this brutality that security officers continue to mete out on Ugandans in a deliberate effort to silence them into submission to more years of Museveni. “We are in a country where a few are allowed to speak while the masses are only allowed to be submissive to the evils of this regime.
“These (security) are the very people we sit in parliament and appropriate money for; the same people who put on our national uniform and how do they pay us? Brutalize and kill us the way of poor Sweet Pepsi who has been taken away from his loving family,” he added.
He reminded the mourners about the terror the security forces continue to sow. “Just yesterday, a young woman was finally released after cries grew following her abduction and being kept in safe houses for close to a week, undergoing all sorts of torture,” he said.
The young woman he was referring to is Zulaikah Nalukenge, a People Power supporter.
Outspoken Nalukenge was abducted from a shopping mall in Kampala by security operatives. That followed her open defiance to an unlawful decree by the regime to outlaw the red beret, which has become the symbol of the People Power movement.
“Not even two weeks did we bury our two friends, the boda boda riders who were part of the welcome party of our fellow musician Eddy Kenzo as he returned from Europe. They were crushed by a police car in broad daylight,” he said.
Kyagulanyi urged Ugandans to never give up, and only leverage their numbers in demand of their rights.
“We must fight on because this is our land; nobody will come to fight for us against this brutal regime. We shall overcome!” the determined MP said amidst chants of “Tuliyambala engule” (we shall wear the crown) song.