Speaker Among to meet President Museveni over Opposition demands

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A meeting between President Yoweri Museveni and Speaker of the Parliament Anita Among has been suggested in response to new requests made by opposition lawmakers about the kidnapping and killing of individuals and the abuse of human rights.

Mathias Mpuuga Nsamba, the Leader of the Opposition in Parliament, made four new demands of the Government on Tuesday: first, to unconditionally release all political prisoners; second, to establish a Commission of Inquiry to look into the disappearance of eighteen National Unity Platform – NUP party supporters who have been missing since 2021.

Mpuuga further urged that all those being subjected to unconstitutional trials before the Court Martial be transferred, even though such trials are prohibited by the Constitutional Court, and that Parliament form a Select Committee to look into claims of rape and defilement.

The claims were made by the LOP in response to a previous remark made by Gen. David Muhoozi, the Minister of State for Internal Affairs, who said that investigations were complicated since the majority of the suspected missing people had never been reported to the police.

Inconsistencies in the statistics and testimony in the numerous claims of reported vanished individuals that were submitted in different ways to the Parliamentary Committee on Human Rights, the Uganda Human Rights Commission, and the most recent declaration by the LOP were mentioned by Gen. Muhoozi.

He clarified that it is challenging for the government to wrap up investigations since the claimed missing people’ next of kin have refused to provide testimonies to police.

In reaction to the demands made by the opposition, Jackson Kafuuzi, the deputy attorney general, promised to call a meeting of the highest ranking members of the judiciary, including Chief Justice Alfonse Owiny-Dollo and the director of public prosecutions, or DPP, to discuss cases that have been on remand for longer than the 48-hour period stipulated by the constitution.

The Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC) head, Mariam Wangadya, disclosed in the organization’s annual report, which was made public on October 11, 2023, that the Commission decided to close 18 files pertaining to purportedly missing NUP party members after being unable to locate them.

Speaker Among suggested that the President be consulted over the extended custody of suspects and postponed making a decision regarding the four demands made by the Opposition until Monday of next week, following a meeting she had set with the Chairperson of the Uganda Human Rights Commission.

In order to find a solution to the standoff, Among claims that the Leader of the Opposition and her Depute Thomas Tayebwa would meet in the near future.