The Allied Democratic Forces rebel commander Jamil Mukulu broke down when he met his mother who he had not seen for 22 years since he went to the bush to lead a rebellion against the government.
“When he saw me, he started crying,” said Mukulu’s mother, Ms Aisha Nakiyemba, 65.
Ms Nakiyemba visited her son at Special Operations Command headquarters at Nalufenya in Jinja District recently.
“When I saw him after 22 years, he apologised to me about the acts he committed and he told us to remain firm because Allah would help him sail through the hard times which he was going through. I also told him that nothing happens when God does not wish it to happen,” Ms Nakiyemba said.
Mukulu’s ADF rebel group is accused of committing atrocities in Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Ms Nakiyemba had earlier appealed to President Museveni to allow her see her son. Government officials she did not name took her to Jinja for the visit.
A police source said the Inspector General of Police, Gen Kale Kayihura, authorised the visitation.
Mr Mukulu has been in police detention since he was arrested in Tanzania in April this year and extradited to Uganda to answer several counts of murder. His ADF rebel group has also been implicated in the assassination of Muslim sheikhs in eastern and central regions.
A police source said both Mukulu and his mother were in a jovial mood upon meeting. When Mukulu was brought in, he found his mother seated on a chair. He was offered a seat but he declined, saying he could not sit on the chair when his mother was seated on a separate one. Mukulu sat on the ground while talking to his mother, the police source said.
Mukulu’s other relatives, including his sisters, were also allowed to see him.
He is the third born in a family of 14 children. Mukulu is among the five who are still alive.
Police spokesman Fred Enanga could neither confirm nor deny Mukulu’s meeting with his mother at the Special Operations Command base.
“Special Operations Command is a police facility that can be accessed by citizens who have their relatives or friends detained there. The law mandates us to allow such visitations. Mukulu’s case isn’t exceptional,” Mr Enanga said on Thursday.