The opposition wants Parliament to re-investigate the rights violations that characterized the 2021 general elections hardly a year after Parliament conducted an investigation into the same matter.
Addressing the cabinet’s bimonthly press conference at Parliament, the Shadow Minister for Security, Derrick Nyeko said that in the absence of a conclusive investigation report on the violations that characterized the 2021 general elections, the Opposition leadership had resolved to move Parliament to institute a select committee to investigate the abuses.
“We resolved as the Shadow Cabinet that immediately Parliament reconvenes, we shall move a motion on the floor of Parliament for fresh investigations into the various forms of human rights abuses including murders, abductions and torture of our people who are held by different security units,” Nyeko said.
The call for a fresh investigation comes barely a month after the Speaker of Parliament, Jacob Oulanyah told MPs that all business of the 10th Parliament that remained incomplete, lapsed when the term of that Parliament came to an end.
This, therefore, affected a report that had been compiled by the Human Rights Committee which had investigated the human rights abuses that were witnessed in the 2021 general elections.
He said that the opposition leadership in Parliament is not taking the continued arrests of opposition supporters lightly.
“We want to ask the state to respect the rule of law and constitutionalism,” Nyeko said. “It is too sad that Gen Museveni praised the actions of the SFC [Special Forces Command] for kidnapping Ugandans many of whom have not been seen again several months after their abduction,” he added.
He expressed concern that after several engagements with ministers, Jim Muhwezi (Security) and David Muhoozi (State for Internal Affairs) under the auspices of the Parliament’s leadership, the state has not bothered to formally charge a number of detainees in courts of law.
Both Oulanyah and his deputy, Anita Among, have in a space of one month held meetings involving the two ministers and the opposition leadership in Parliament to reach a consensus but to no avail.
The last such meeting was on October 7, 2021a day after the Opposition called off its boycott of plenary sittings following the brutal re-arrest of MPs, Muhammad Ssegirinya (Kawempe North) and Allan Ssewanyana (Makindye West) for their alleged role in a spate of killings in the Greater Masaka sub-region.
Close to 60 people were killed between July and August by an unknown machete-wielding gang which the police claim was being bankrolled by the two jailed MPs. Nyeko told journalists that security operatives have since continued to target opposition supporters and linking them to the killings.
“It is sad that police investigations are not giving us proper information about these killings and many of the people who have been arrested in the past few days have not been produced before court,” he said.
Busiro South MP, Charles Matovu told the press conference that so far over 20 opposition mobilisers in his constituency and the neighbouring Entebbe Municipality have been arrested ostensibly in connection to the Masaka killings.