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Last Updated: Tuesday, 22 July, 2003, 08:56 GMT 09:56 UK
Refugee feared for his life
Davidii Kakande
Davidii Kakande fled Uganda three years ago
An Ugandan refugee who fled political persecution said he feared for his life when he decided to leave his country for the UK.

Davidii Kakande landed at Stansted airport three years ago. He was immediately given asylum and moved to Wrexham, north Wales.

The 28-year-old was forced to leave his wife and children in the country governed by Yoweri Museveni.

"I was arrested and tortured several times, then I decided to escape. When you are tortured you can sometimes get killed," he said.

"I was arrested for opposing the Government, I worked for a local newspaper which supported the main opposing party in Uganda.

People think if you come here, you are given a flat and you would never want to go back but I will
Davidii Kakande, Ugandan refugee

"If you oppose the authorities there is no freedom of speech. If you try and write some news about the authority opposing some of the issues, you can end up in trouble.

"I didn't have any alternative because in time you can lose your life. I had to escape the country.

"Uganda is a very nice country but the situation's different than here for some people."

"There's a lot of poverty in Uganda, there are few jobs and few opportunities for people.

Davidii was given refugee status 18 months ago, and says he will stay in his one bedroom flat not far from Wrexham town centre for the foreseeable future.

However, he may not stay forever, and has concerns about the way asylum seekers and refugees are dealt with.

"I was happy in Wrexham but now I am not so sure.

"I think to improve the system, it is better to listen attentively to the problems of refugees and asylum seekers and to take them seriously not just listen."

He said he came to the UK because he can speak English and not because he sees the country as a "soft touch".

"In Uganda we are taught English in the schools, it is very easy to live here in the UK.

"You can't decide to go to Germany or France because you don't know any single word."

"It's strange to live in a foreign country because everything you see is a new thing.

"Here they have never seen war since the second world war, nobody is torturing anybody, the Government is a good one," he added.

Davidii was a sales manager and part time journalist in Uganda.

Uganda was notorious for its human rights abuses in the 1970s and 80s

Since he left, democratic reforms in Uganda have increased, and the media there now has greater freedom - changes which Davidii says encourage him to return one day.

"I think if the situation changes like I think it will, I will go back, that's why I want to get a degree.

"I'd like to be an MP in Uganda, I would like to do something for my own area.

"People think if you come here, you are given a flat and you would never want to go back but I will."

He is in touch by phone and letter with his wife and two children, who have now also left Uganda. He is obviously keen to be reunited with them, and misses the lifestyle he had in his home town.

"I had a nice house and a nice car but I haven't got anything here.

"It's a nice place but home is the best."



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