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Mpuuga calls for compensation of victims of November 2020 riots

LOP Mathias Mpuuga. File Photo

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Leader of Opposition in Parliament-LOP, Mathias Mpuuga has tasked President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni to honour his compensation pledge to the families of 54 Ugandans killed in the November 2020 demonstrations.

Mpuuga made the statement on Friday in commemoration of the 54 civilians killed by security personnel during a violent crackdown on protestors who were opposing the arrest of Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu, during a presidential campaign in Luuka district.

Kyagulanyi, the National Unity Platform-NUP party candidate was arrested on November 18, 2020 for allegedly flouting COVID-19 guidelines issued by the Electoral Commission that required presidential candidates to address not more than 200 supporters in each rally venue.

His arrest and detention at Nalufenya police station in Jinja city, sparked off a two-day protest by his supporters across Kampala, leading to the death of 54 people. Later, President Museveni pledged compensation to the bereaved families and directed inquiry into the killings in order to reprimand culpable officers.

But Mpuuga says to date, President Museveni has neither compensated the families nor have the police published the outcome of their investigation to hold anyone accountable for the heinous killings.

“On several occasions, we have risen in Parliament to demand accountability of our supporters who were abducted by the state during the 2021 general elections, but in vain,” Mpuuga said. He reiterated that the government has severally admitted that some of the NUP supporters were under custody while some were released albeit in bad shape, maimed, with multiple wounds and in immense pain owing to the torturous treatment they were subjected to by the state.

“So today, we remember not only the 54 who were killed on the two dark days of November 18 and 19th, 2020 but the many Ugandans who have been killed since August 2018 in Arua, those who have been abducted and disappeared as well as the comrades facing politically motivated charges,” Mpuuga added.

On November 12, 2022, the Attorney General Kiryowa Kiwanuka appeared before the 75th session of the United Nations-UN Committee Against Torture and defended the government against the allegations of inhuman treatment by some government operatives.

However, Mpuuga asked the ruling National Resistance Movement-NRM party led by President Museveni to respect the Constitutional provisions on rights and freedoms as enshrined in Article 29 which guarantees the right of every citizen to free speech, expression, assembly and association.

“We shall not tire of demanding justice for those who have so far been killed and all the political prisoners,” Mpuuga concluded.

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URN

One comment

  1. Not sure whether the victims will be compensated.

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