Naduli Shammah Edward a.k.a Shammah Benefits, a Ugandan celebrated human rights activist and political blogger is living in exile because he fears returning home will mean torture and possibly even death at the hands of his government’s forces.
Shammah Benefits is a member of the People Power Movement and the National Unity Platform, Uganda’s biggest opposition party. The People Power Movement was founded in 2016 by Robert Kyagulanyi, a musician and activist better known as Bobi Wine. The People Power Movement (National Unity Platform) has been an incredible force in the Ugandan political landscape, fighting for democracy and equal representation for all Ugandans. Under Bobi Wine’s leadership, the People Power Movement has been a powerful advocate for democratic reform and good governance.
Shammah has been using his Facebook page; (Shammah Benefits) to express his discontent with the Ugandan government and advocate for change. He has been taking to social media to voice his opinion and share his thoughts on the current state of the country. He is vocal about his disapproval of the government’s lack of transparency and accountability and has been actively campaigning for the people of Uganda to have a more democratic form of governance. He has also been encouraging people to be more active in the political process, and to make their voices heard.
“I believe that people should be able to choose their leaders and have a say in how their government functions”. Shammah said.
“The current government should be held accountable for its actions and be able to face criticism and opposition without fear of persecution.” He added.
Shammah says he is trying to get people to understand the importance of having a free and fair political system, and to help them realize that they can make a difference.
In Uganda, opposition supporters and activists are increasingly facing the threat of violence and torture. Many have been forced to flee in fear of their safety. The ruling party, the National Resistance Movement (NRM), has increased its grip on power since it came to power in 1986. This has been done through suppression of opposition voices and a crackdown on civil society groups.
Those who have spoken out against the government have been targeted by security forces, with reports of severe torture and even death. This has led to a climate of fear, where many opposition supporters and activists have been forced to flee the country in order to save themselves from the brutality.
Shammah was one of the many opposition supporters arrested on 25th July 2018 in Bugiri during the campaigns for Bugiri by-elections. He also recalls the night when one of his party members was shot dead by security forces in Arua.
In 2019, Uganda’s government stepped up its repression of opposition supporters and activists, with mass arrests, detention without trial, and violent clashes between security forces and protesters. The government also increased surveillance of activists, subjecting them to constant harassment. In response, many fled the country in fear of arrest and torture. One of them was Shammah, who was forced to leave his home and family in Uganda.
“I can’t give you my location because I fear for my life, I don’t even know how safe I am here but I think it’s safer than Uganda.” He said.
Shammah is the author of “THE FACE OF CHANGE”. A book he published in exile. Shammah talks about Bobi Wine’s journey as a leader, exploring the challenges and successes of his activism. In his book, Shammah also offers a unique glimpse into the current political and social climate in Uganda, highlighting the issues that the country faces and the potential solutions.
Ugandan activists living in exile are often scared to go home due to the dangers they face in their home country. Political dissent and activism are often punished severely, and activists often face imprisonment, torture, and death.
Many activists are forced to flee to other countries in order to protect their safety and their families.