Speaker Among Bows To Pressure, Proposes Meeting President Museveni Over Opposition Demands

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The Speaker of Parliament Anita Among has proposed a meeting with President Yoweri Museveni over fresh demands by Opposition legislators regarding the forced disappearance of citizens and human rights violations.

The Leader of the Opposition in Parliament Mathias Mpuuga Nsamba presented four fresh demands to the Government on Tuesday to unconditionally release all political prisoners and institute a Commission of Inquiry to investigate the disappearance of 18 supporters of the opposition National Unity Platform – NUP party who have been missing since 2021.

Mpuuga also demanded that Parliament establishes a Select Committee to investigate alleged cases of rape, and defilement as well as the transfer of all persons being subjected to unlawful trials before the Court Martial despite such trials being outlawed by the Constitutional Court in a 2021 ruling.

The LOP made the demands in a rejoinder to an earlier statement by Gen. David Muhoozi, the Minister of State for Internal Affairs Gen. David Muhoozi saying that most of the alleged missing persons have never been reported to the police thus complicating investigations.

Gen. Muhoozi cited inconsistencies in the numbers and testimonies in the various claims of reported disappeared persons and presented variously to the Uganda Human Rights Commission, the Parliamentary Committee on Human Rights, and the latest statement by the LOP. He explained that the alleged missing persons’ next of kin have declined to give statements to police, making it difficult for the government to conclude investigations.

In response to the demands by the Opposition, the Deputy Attorney General, Jackson Kafuuzi committed to convene a meeting with the top leadership in the Judiciary which will include Chief Justice Alfonse Owiny-Dollo, and the Director of Public Prosecutions – DPP among others to consider cases that have been on remand beyond the 48-hour constitutional requirement.

In its annual report released on October 11, 2023, the chairperson of the Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC), Mariam Wangadya, revealed that the Commission has resolved to close 18 files of the allegedly missing NUP party supporters after failing to trace them.

Speaker Among proposed to engage the President over the prolonged detention of suspects, and deferred determination on the four Opposition demands until after a meeting she scheduled with the Chairperson of the Uganda Human Rights Commission next week, Monday.

According to Among, the pending meeting will involve her Deputy Thomas Tayebwa and the Leader of the Opposition to forge a way of settling the impasse.

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