Members of Parliament joined the Speaker, Rebecca Kadaga to condemn what they termed as inhumane handling of Ugandans by the Local Defence Force Unit (LDU) personnel in the name of enforcing President Yoweri Museveni’s directives aimed at curtailing the spread of the coronavirus disease in Uganda.
The LDUs were deployed on Kampala streets on March 26, following a directive by Museveni suspending all modes public transport and non-food trade for 14 days.
The LDUs, armed with sticks and electric cables, brutalized people on the streets, forcing several businesses to close.
In her communication during Tuesday’s plenary sitting, Kadaga said, although Ugandans acknowledge the need for the lockdown, there is need to have the directives implemented in a manner that doesn’t violate rights of Ugandans.
“The unnecessary beating of citizens is a matter of grave concern, indeed one would like to know, what’s the command structure of these LDUs? Who do we contact to complain about the activities? If they perform well, who do we contact to complement them? We acknowledge the need for the lockdown but let us have order in the way that things are done,” Kadaga said.
Kadaga’s comments triggered heated debate with some MPs giving their personal encounters with the LDUs.
The debate in Parliament comes a day after the Chief of Defence Forces (CDF) Gen David Muhoozi made a public apology to some of the victims of last Thursday’s beatings.
Muhoozi also announced a change in the LDU command structure with the appointment of Col Mike Walaka Hyeroba as the overall commander of the LDU in Kampala metropolitan area.
The army said that victims who sustains medical complications were offered treatment at the UPDF Senior Officers diagnostic centre in Mbuya.