Govt fails to compensate November protest victims

Thursday April 22 2021
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Ms Hajara Nakitto, the mother of Amos Ssegawa, a 15-year-old student who was shot dead during the November 2020 protests has stormed Parliament demanding to meet the Speaker Rebecca Kadaga. PHOTO/ COURTESY/ DAMALI MUKHAYE

By Benson Tumusiime

Victims of the November 18 and 19, 2020 protests have not been compensated, five months after the President promised to pay the families of those who lost their lives, Daily Monitor has learnt.

At least 54 people lost their lives while others were seriously injured when spontaneous protests broke out in different parts of the country following the arrest of then presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi, alias Bobi Wine.

Following the protests President Museveni said the government will compensate the families of all those who lost their lives as long as they were not part of the protests.

Business owners whose shops were affected by the protests were also considered for compensation.

Government also promised to investigate the killings and punish the culprits.
The President tasked the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) and other government agencies to handle the compensation process.

However, on Tuesday, the OPM spokesperson, Mr Julius Mucunguzi, told Daily Monitor that he did not have information about the matter.


“I think you can obtain that information from either the police or Ministry of Health,” Mucunguzi said.
Mr Emmanuel Ainebyoona, the spokesperson of the Ministry of Health, also said he has no information about the compensation process.

However, the Minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Prof Ephraim Kamuntu, told Daily Monitor on Tuesday that investigations are underway to determine those entitled to compensation.

He said when the report is done, the compensation process will commence.

“Those who engineered the riots are not willing to avail themselves to investigators to record their statements and that is why the report has been delayed,” Prof Kamuntu said.

He added that the incidents of  November last year put many lives at risk.

“Those who caused the riots should expect consequences for their actions.  These people would not have died if there were no riots. They lost their lives because some people engineered the riots,” he said.
The spokesperson of Criminal Investigations Department (CID), Mr Charles Twine, told Daily Monitor that they are still “meticulously investigating” the killings.

“We are in position to know who died of what and what caused death,” he said, adding that they have completed part of the investigation of people who were “justifiably killed.”

Without explaining the delay, Mr Twine told Daily Monitor that the focus is on a comprehensive probe to understand circumstances under which people died.

Police Spokesperson Fred Enanga told journalist in November 2020 that the police had tasked the investigating team to collect and analyse several cartridges spent and unspent during the protest and scrutinise the videos obtained from CCTV cameras so that they can determine which gun was used and who used it.