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Gov’t fails to table list of abduction victims

the Internal Affairs Minister; Gen. Jeje Odongo

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga has allowed individual members of parliament to present lists of missing people from their constituencies.

She made the decision after the Internal Affairs Minister; Gen. Jeje Odongo failed to show up to present the list of people in state custody following their abduction by security operatives as directed by the speaker on February 24th, 2021.

Kadaga’s ruling followed the fury by several MP over government failure to present the list of the missing persons. Odongo was expected to table the list on February 25, 2021.

Kalungu West MP, Joseph Ssewungu raised a procedural matter regarding the failure by the Minister to present the list of missing persons as directed by House.

He told parliament that he was ready to table a list of abducted Ugandans should the minister fail to do so. 

Lwemiyaga County MP, Theodore Ssekikubo said that the matter is critical since it centers on the Constitutional rights of Ugandans. He said the government needed to come out clearly and quickly to forward the list and take action on the abducting Ugandans. 

Kilak South MP, Gilbert Olanya said that the matter is serious since many Ugandans have disappeared and some feared dead.

Mukono Municipality MP, Betty Nambooze told parliament that many people had been abducted in her constituency and that her nephew Victor Balikuddembe has been missing for two months.

Kadaga noted that there were numerous complaints of missing persons and directed MPs to provide lists of the victims from their areas. She said this was the only option in the absence of a list of missing persons from the government.

In his recent nationwide address, president, Yoweri Museveni indicated that the missing Ugandans are in the hands of security agencies and directed the agencies to release their names to the public.

The Defense Minister, Adolf Mwesige then told Parliament that all security agencies had complied with the president’s directive by handing over the list to Uganda Police Force, which prompted Kadaga to direct the Internal Affairs Minister to present the full list of the people in the custody of UPDF and Police by February 25, 2021.

However, police declined to release the list because of disagreements with the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI). Uganda Radio Network- URN learnt that the top police leadership demanded proof of life of the suspects before issuing the list.

Many of those detained allegedly participated in the November 18 and 19, 2021 protests triggered by the arrest of the National Unity Platform presidential candidate, Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu during his campaign trail in Luuka district.

In his address, Museveni revealed that the army was holding up to 200 people. The NUP president, Kyagulanyi recently shared names of more than 250 people, who he claimed are under unlawful custody.

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