Mathias Mpuuga and other opposition NUP legislators addressing a press conference.

Opposition in New Effort to Trace 18 Missing Supporters

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Mpuuga explained that his team is taking time to reach out to the families and close relatives of all the 18 missing persons, and their findings will lead to the production of a report series to be called, “The Missing 18”.

The Office of the Leader of Opposition in Parliament (LOP) has commenced a parallel investigation to trace the whereabouts of the 18 supporters of the National Unity Platform (NUP) said to have been abducted by security personnel before, during and after the 2021 general elections.

Mathias Mpuuga, the Leader of the Opposition in Parliament says the team has started to visit each of the 18 families whose loved ones disappeared in the last four years to generate a recollection of events.

Some of the photos of the NUP missing persons.

The move follows a report by the Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC) released in October revealing that of the 30 names of missing persons they received, only 12 were traced and found but the other 18 were untraceable, hence their files were consequently closed.

LOP’s team visited the family of John Ddamulira in Mukono District who reportedly went missing in November 2020 after armed men abducted him. A close family source who preferred anonymity given the sensitivity of the matter explained that the UHRC report that declared the 18 missing persons non-existing shocked them.

A local leader in the area narrated how they attempted to report and register a case of a missing person at Mbalala Police Station but were only frustrated deliberately by the police officers on duty who declined to register their complaint before they sought redress at Mukono Central Police Station.

Speaking to URN on the matter, Mpuuga explained his team is taking time to reach out to the families and close relatives of all the 18 missing persons, and their findings will lead to the production of a report series to be called, “The Missing 18”.

The LOP says some of the other affected families have started to report intimidation from the police and other security personnel who are making frantic contact with relatives of the missing persons in a bid to cover up or conceal the truth.

When contacted, Fred Enanga, the Police Spokesperson refuted the allegations that there are missing persons and that the state is responsible. Enanga cited the UHRC report which disapproved repeated claims of the opposition about the missing persons as untrue and lacked facts to aid in the furtherance of investigation by relevant government bodies.

Notably, apart from Ddamulira, other missing persons include Joseph Baguma, Godfrey Kisembo, Moses Mbabazi, Peter Kirya, Shafiq Wangolo, John Bosco Kibalama, Yuda Ssempijja, Hassan Mubiru, Vincent Nalumoso, Martin Lukwago, Isma Ssesaazi, Musisi Mbowa, George Kasumba, Muhammad Kanatta, Denis Zimula, Michael Ssemudu, and Musitafa Luwemba.

The opposition says they will not buy what they described as “lazy overtures from police, UHRC, and other security agencies” and demanded justice, transparency, and accountability for the whereabouts of the missing persons. They also demanded the Government desist immediately from the continued detention without trial of political rivals, release all the political prisoners, and respect the provisions of Article 23(4)(b) of the Constitution among others.

Matters of the missing persons and the cruel treatment have been the subject of intense debate on the floor of Parliament prompting the opposition politicians to boycott and walk out during plenary sittings on several occasions in a bid to expose the Government’s intolerance of democratic principles and values.


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