Mukono, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Rogers Ssemakula, one of the National Unity Platform (NUP) supporters and resident of Kabembe in Kyampisi Sub County in Mukono district who went missing on the eve of the presidential and parliamentary elections, has been found dead.
His body was recovered from Kiyunga forest by a team of NUP supporters following days of searching. Ssemakula,’s widow, Zarupha Nampijja says her husband did not return home on the eve of the presidential and parliamentary elections.
According to Nampijja, she had cautioned the deceased against moving at the night during campaigns due to the rampant kidnap of NUP supporters in the area.
Asadu Jjemba, a resident of Kabembe says the deceased is among several NUP supporters who were kidnapped by people driving in a white numberless van during in the night of January 13th, 2021.
He says while the rest were released, Ssemakula was still missing.
“When I was at Kabembe recently, I heard people saying there was a raid in which several people were arrested. Today, we found out one of the persons who was picked up, is dead,” Jjemba said.
Throughout the parliamentary campaigns, NUP candidates and coordinators repeatedly complained about the kidnap and brutalization of their supporters. Abdullah Kiwanuka, the Mukono North NUP elect, says after failing to get police attention, they are finalizing a petition to present before high court to compel police and the government to produce their missing members, dead or alive.
He says nine of their members namely Isma Ssenkubuge, Juma Mukasa, Joseph Kyakuwa, Muhammad Kanata, Steven Ntulume, Julius Kiberu, Musa Male, Sowedi Lwanga and Isma Mwanjazi are still missing.
Although the NUP members point accusing fingers at Ronald Kibuule, the Water State Minister and incumbent Mukono North MP for masterminding the kidnaps and torture opposition supporters, he has vehemently denied the accusations.
In a telephone interview on Tuesday evening, Kibuule tasked those accusing him to produce evidence implicating him for the kidnaps. Grace Nyangoma, the Commander Naggalama Police Division has denied accusations of declining to enter cases of torture and missing persons by the opposition members.