What you need to know:
- In several videos recorded and shared after the attack, Majambere who had just been rescued from mob action is heard threatening more violence in the presence of police.
- UHRC statement was issued hours after the Minister of Information, Dr Chris Baryomunsi questioned the silence of "human rights defenders" over Majambere’s mob attack
Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC) has asked police to probe the violent scenes witnessed during the burial ceremony of the late Suleiman Jakana Nadduli, a social media activist and government critic.
A section of Opposition and the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) supporters on Monday clashed at Jakana’s burial at Kadunda Village, Nakaseke District, leaving several people injured.
SEE PICTORIAL: Tears, chaos as Jakana Nadduli is laid to rest
The clashes saw Mr Abdul Nadduli, the father of the deceased, briefly evacuated for his safety as the supporters of the Opposition National Unity Platform (NUP) party engaged a section of the NRM party supporters in fist fights.
During the scuffle, controversial, outspoken NRM activist Ivan Kamuntu Majambere was beaten by a mob that accused him of attempting to block NUP officials from addressing mourners during the burial.
It’s against this background that UHRC in a Wednesday statement said the violent scenes must be investigated and culprits brought to book.
“The incident which involved a mob of alleged mourners violently assaulting another; a one Ivan Kamuntu Majambere for reasons not yet established by the Commission, is of concern to us, given its human right implications. The Commission has learned that the victim suffered severe body injuries. The Commission is appalled by the violent actions and indecent behavior exhibited by a section of mourners. The Commission condemns the incident which not only disrupted the burial ceremony, but also infringed on the rights of the family and others present to mourn their loved one in peace. We further condemn such acts of intolerance among the citizens and call for respect for divergent views,” reads part of the UHRC statement signed by the UHRC chairperson, Mariam Wangadya.
According to Ms Wangadya, such acts of hooliganism are “undoubtedly characteristic” of the abhorred incidents of mob action, which if left unchecked could escalate into lawlessness.
“The Commission has severally voiced concerns on incidents of mob action because of their negative effects on the enjoyment of human rights. Mob action infringes on the victim's right to presumption of innocence until proven guilty by a competent Court. It also results into acts of torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment and many times results into loss of life which has far reaching consequences on the families of victims,” Ms Wangadya added.
She called on law enforcement agencies to carry out expeditious investigations into the incident, “with a view to apprehending and charging those who perpetrated the violence. Police should also strengthen its community policing and neighbourhood watch programmes across the country in order to forestall acts of criminality like the one in question, from the communities.”
In several videos recorded and shared after the attack, Majambere who had just been rescued from mob action is heard threatening more violence in the presence of police.
“I will kill four over [President Yoweri] Museveni and [First Son] Muhoozi [Kainerugaba],” Majambere assures cameras pointed at him as police drives him away from the scene.
“I will kill more than four. That’s me. You wait. I will show you that I’m the one who has been working at Nalufenya” Mr Majambare reassures.
Nalufenya police station in Jinja District is formerly notorious for torturing suspects detained there to death or near death. The detention centre was closed in 2018 following public outcry over human rights abuse.
Meanwhile, the statement from UHRC came hours after the Minister of Information, Communications Technology and National Guidance, Dr Chris Baryomunsi who doubles as the NRM vice chairperson western Uganda questioned the silence of "human rights defenders" over Majambere’s mob attack.
“Where did the ever noisy "human rights defenders" in Uganda go? How come they are silent about the beating of Mr Majambere, an innocent mourner at the burial of Jakana Nadduli? Does it mean NRM supporters have no human rights? The goons who beat him up must be brought to book,” Dr BARYOMUNSI, who represents Kinkizi East Constituency in the 11th parliament, tweeted on Wednesday.