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Gov’t Asks For Time to Explain New Wave Of Abductions

The government has asked for more time to present a comprehensive statement on the new wave of abductions in the country.

Speaking in parliament on Wednesday, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister without Portfolio Rukia Nakadama Isanga said it is absurd that the abduction of people is back as reported in the media this week. However, she said, parliament should give the Minister of Security Jim Muhwezi more time to explain the matter. 

Nakadama’s comment followed a presentation by the Leader of Opposition in Parliament 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 who presented a list of people said to have been arrested and whose whereabouts are unknown said government should come clean and tell the country whether these people are still alive or dead so that they are given a fitting burial.

 

The Speaker of Parliament Thomas Tayebwa said the government should respect its commitment to resolve all issues arising from illegal arrests. He said MPs from both the opposition and ruling party agreed that government should in three months come out and explain the steps taken to address issues raised in the parliamentary report on human rights and prisons.

Tayebwa ruled that on Friday this week the Prime Minister, the Leader of Opposition, the shadow minister for security, the government chief whip, the opposition chief whip, the minister of security, and internal affairs should meet and discuss how to handle the issue.  

Speaking to Uganda Radio Network separately, National Unity Platform 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 soldiering 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 as per the police report, 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.

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