The Opposition in Parliament want a select committee constituted to carry out investigations into the new wave of abductions.
This follows last week’s meeting called by Deputy Speaker Thomas Tayebwa, with the Prime Minister, Leader of Opposition, Minister of Security, Government Chief Whip, Deputy Attorney General, Deputy Commander of Special Forces Command (SFC), Shadow Minister for Internal Affairs and others to discuss how to handle the continued abductions in the country.
In the meeting, the Shadow Minister for Internal Affairs, Abdallah Kiwanuka was asked to furnish the Executive with the full particulars of the missing persons by Friday this week, and the government committed to provide accountability within one month.
Addressing journalists in Parliament on Tuesday, Kiwanuka demanded that parliament constitutes a select committee to investigate abductions.
“This is not the first time that we are providing full details of persons that were abducted before, during, and after the 2021 general elections. The first time, some of the people they had abducted and detained incommunicado were dumped in different places but in bad shape, maimed, with multiple wounds, and in immense pain owing to the torturous treatment they were subjected to by the state,” said Kiwanuka.
Kiwanuka said that while they await the outcome of the ongoing process between parliament and the Executive, a select committee should be put in place to investigate the matter.
Kiwanuka also said that a comprehensive list of the abducted persons is being compiled.
According to Kiwanuka, the list will comprise the place, time, and date of abduction. He however said that the opposition will not disclose particulars of the close relatives as requested by the government.
Derrick Nyeko, the Shadow Minister of Security said that they have in the past year used several procedures to demand freedom for those abducted and respect for human rights to no avail.
He questioned the government’s repeated demand for lists of victims without any action being taken. Nyeko appealed for the immediate release of those abducted and an explanation for the actions.
Before parliament broke off for recess last week, the Third Deputy Prime Minister, Rukia Nakadama asked the House for more time to present a comprehensive statement on the new wave of abductions.
She said that it was absurd that the abduction of people was back as reported in the media and that the Minister of Security, Jim Muhwezi should be given time to explain the matter.
The comment followed a statement by Leader of Opposition, Mathias Mpuuga who said that they were concerned about the renewed wave of abduction yet the government had in the past committed to ensuring that all people arrested for their political views will be presented in court or be released.
Mpuuga then presented a list of 15 people said to have been arrested and whose whereabouts are unknown.
In a separate interview with Uganda Radio Network, National Unity Platform (NUP) Secretary General, David Lewis Rubongoya said they have a list of over 30 people who have been abducted and their whereabouts are unknown.
He said as a party, they have many other members who have been arrested for no reason other than their political views. Rubongoya said even when they have gone to court and obtained orders for the unconditional release of their members, they have been ignored.
Rubongoya added that currently, the party is shouldering the burden of looking after more than 100 children of their supporters some of whom have been in prison as far as November 2020.
At least 54 people were killed during the November 2020 riots that followed the arrest of then-presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu of the National Unity Platform.
Other than those killed during the demonstrations, hundreds of others particularly youths were rounded up and arrested many of whom were never charged in courts of law. The second round of arrests also transpired in the days leading to the swearing-in ceremony of President Museveni in May last year.
Security then said that those arrested were planning to interrupt the President’s swearing-in ceremony. Some of these have been charged in the Court Martial while others have never appeared in the police.