Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Leader of Opposition in Parliament Mathias Mpuuga, has welcomed the US sanctions against Maj Gen Abel Kandiho, the Commander of the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence-CMI.
On Tuesday, the US Department of Treasury implicated Kandiho and other CMI officers for the arrest, detention and physical abuse of people in Uganda. The statement shows that the CMI targeted individuals due to their nationality, political views, or critique of the Ugandan government.
“Individuals were taken into custody and held, often without legal proceedings, at CMI detention facilities where they were subjected to horrific beatings and other egregious acts by CMI officials including sexual abuse and electrocutions, often resulting in significant long-term injury and even death,” the US statement read in part.
The statement further read that during these incarcerations, victims were kept in solitary confinement and unable to contact friends, family or legal support. In some cases, Kandiho was personally involved leading interrogations of detained individuals.
Now, the Leader of Opposition has welcomed the sanctions as a strong message to other security chiefs who misuse their offices to cause suffering to Ugandans because of their political beliefs. He says that such targeted sanctions should be extended to other duty bearers implicated in killings and kidnaps that were witnessed before, during and after the 2021 elections.
He pointed out that justice shall be served when the perpetrators are prosecuted and the victims compensated. However, the Uganda People’s Defense Forces-UPDF condemned the US sanctions saying they were levied without considering the due process. A press statement issued by Brigadier Flavia Byekwaso, the Defense Spokesperson on Tuesday expressed disappointment that the US could take such a decision without due process.
“As a country and UPDF in particular, a reputable government institution, we are disappointed such a decision could be made by a country we consider friends, a partner and a great ally, without due process and in total disregard of the principle of fair hearing coupled with failure to make necessary consultations,” reads the statement.
Byekwaso disclosed that they will seek clarification from the US government to harmonize the decision.