Rights report pins UPDF, police, UWA on killings

Thursday February 14 2019


The Uganda Police Force, the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF), and the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) personnel have killed 133 civilians in the last three years, a human rights report has declared.

The report launched in Kampala yesterday by Court of Appeal judge, Justice Kenneth Kakuru, carries findings of a study conducted by the Human Rights and Peace Centre (HURIPEC) at the Makerere University’s School of Law. It targeted 359 responds in about 40 districts.

Ms Zahara Nampewo, the director HURIPEC, said they were examining the state of human rights in the first half of President Museveni’s fifth elective term which he dubbed “Kisanja Hakuna Mchezo (term without jokes).

In the findings, a total of 40 deaths were attributed to the UPDF, 62 to police and 31 to UWA. The researchers have reserved the list of the people killed and those who suffered torture in the hands of security agencies because of confidentiality. The researchers said the figure does not include the 150 people including children who were killed during a UPDF raid on Rwenzururu Kingdom palace in Kasese in November 2016.

Government spokesperson Ofwono Opondo said government has been fighting human rights violations and faulted the researchers for not giving government ample time to prepare a detailed response. He demanded for evidence from HURIPEC pinning the security agencies.

The UWA spokesperson, Mr Bashir Hangi, also refuted the allegations in the report that rangers shoot poachers. UPDF spokesperson Brig Richard Karemire promised to respond to our request for a comment later.