Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The wives of detained National Unity Platform-NUP supporters have called for their immediate release. The NUP supporters were picked up between 2020 and 2021 at the height of the presidential campaigns.
On Tuesday, over 50 women joined the leaders of NUP’s women wing at NUP headquarters to commemorate International Women’s Day. The majority of the women were those whose husbands, relatives and children were killed, arrested or abducted by security operatives.
Flavia Nabagabe Kalule, the NUP women’s wing chairperson said that as the world celebrates International women’s day, the recently concluded election which was violent left many mothers and wives crying for their missing husbands, who were either arrested, abducted or killed by security agencies.
“We have so many families whose loved ones have disappeared until to date, women who lost their husbands, brothers, sons, daughters, women who are in jails, many cannot afford to feed themselves and their children because their husbands were killed or arrested. This is a great shame to celebrate such a day in Uganda,” Nabagabe said.
The Mityana Municipality Member of Parliament Joyce Bagala, challenged President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni to announce the release of all political prisoners for the relief of mothers and wives who are undergoing pain.
“Most of the people who were arrested were men, but women and children are the most affected by these growing human rights violations in this country. We all saw the mother of Hon Muhammad Ssegirinya at parliament crying and fainting in the middle of the road, and this government comes out to say they care about women! Bagala questioned.
She called upon women in government positions to stop the pretense that women are well-off but to come out on such a day to condemn the ongoing human rights violations that are shattering families.
Silvia Tibiwa, the wife of Sharif Kalanzi who has spent the last two years in Kitalya prisons pleaded for the release of her husband. She explained that during the arrest of her husband, the security operatives also took the motorcycle that was the only source of income for the family.
Aderrah Namulindwa, a wife to Kato Lubwama who was shot and killed by security in Kampala during the November 18th 2020 riots, said that they have waited for the government compensation in vain.
Ever since the end of the election cycle in January last year, a number of NUP supporters who had been arrested especially after the November 2020 riots triggered by the arrest of the former presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu have been released without any charge. Many others have been released on police bond or court bail.
However, dozens of others have remained in custody without any charges being preferred against them.