KAMPALA- By Sunday evening, security officials had not released a list of people they kidnapped in the last months despite President Museveni’s directive on Saturday.
In his address to the nation, the President confirmed that the people who had been reportedly kidnapped were indeed in custody of security agencies.
He ordered the security agencies, especially the army, to produce the list of those arrested and make their names known to the public.
However, sources, who talked to Daily Monitor on anonymity, said Mr Museveni’s directive had put security agencies in a delicate situation.
The sources said the agencies were reluctant to produce the list because some of the suspects were tortured and are in poor health.
“Security cannot show the identities of some suspects because they were tortured by a security commando unit in some of the detention centres. If they are revealed, their families or relatives will seek to see them. But security agencies cannot show the suspects in that bad condition. Government will be embarrassed and condemned,” the source said.
The source added that the commando unit has been torturing the detainees without producing them in court.
“Imagine some suspects were arrested one or two months ago, and some are aged below 18. But they cannot even try them in a unit disciplinary court at Mbuya [barracks]. CMI (Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence) keeps them while torturing them,” the source added.
The source said the security agencies might delay to produce the list as they wait for the health of those tortured to improve.
Brig Gen Flavia Byekwaso, the UPDF spokesperson, declined to comment on the torture claims.
“...But as the President directed that the list should be made public, you wait on Tuesday [tomorrow] at Uganda Media Centre. The Minister for Security and Minister for Internal Affairs shall avail the update on the list and the status of suspects,” Brig Byekwaso said.
Addressing the country on the situation on Saturday, Mr Museveni said due to the November 18 and 19, 2020 protests that were sparked by the arrest of National Unity Platform Opposition presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi, aka Bobi Wine, security deployed in Kampala Metropolitan Area and other parts of the country to ensure peace during the January 14 polls.
“Towards elections, we had new schemes of criminality. The culture of rioting…attack buildings, attack security personnel. Because of that misbehaviour and plans to stop the election, because these law breakers were planning openly that they will not allow elections to take place, the security forces decided to deploy heavily just before elections,” Mr Museveni said.
“In the case of Kampala, we also brought the commando unit which had distinguished itself in fighting in Somalia and which had destroyed ADF. We deployed it in Kampala area. This group quickly defeated the terrorists who had started operating here. They killed a few who tried to attack them and arrested scores of those lawbreakers in Makerere, Kivulu, Nakivubo channel, some from Mpigi, Kyotera, Mukono,” he added.
The President said the missing people who were kidnapped had actually been arrested by CMI or by the commando units.
Mr Museveni said the first time to use CMI was after the 2018 crimes in which several women in Entebbe, Nansana, Zzaana were murdered and the killings of sheikhs.
“The killing of [Andrew Felix] Kawesi, former inspector general of police, prosecutor Joan Kagezi, [Maj Mohammed] Kiggundu, [Ibrahim] Abiriga, the killing of women in Nansana, Entebbe, Zzaana and the leaflets which were threatening people, saying how they will be attacked with jambiya (machetes), the killing of [Muhammad] Kirumira, attacking factories.
The aim of that campaign was to scare away investment…Police had been infiltrated by the criminals. It was during that time that I involved CMI in investigating the killings of the women starting with Entebbe and Zzaana. That was the first time to involve soldiers in what otherwise would have been police work,” Mr Museveni said.
Mr Museveni said 177 people were arrested by CMI and have either been released from detention or granted bail by courts while another category of 65 individuals is still in jail, and under investigation.
He said he had the list of the arrested people and read out names such as Adam Senyonjo, Wasswa Kasozi, Davis Lwetute and Bonny Kiseka before declaring that the lists be made public.
“All their names are here. Both the 177 and 65 and the security people should make this list available to the public so that this talk of disappearance is answered,” Mr Museveni said.
The President also said another group of 59 people were arrested by commandos, who he said were brought in from Somalia to support the country’s security forces.
“The ones arrested by commandos were 59 (18 from Kampala, 11 from Mpigi, 17 from Kyotera and five from Nakasongola. These 59 were separate from the 17 who had been arrested from Mukono,” Mr Museveni said.
Here, he read out names such as Junior Ainebyona, Yasiin Mpagi, Daudi Niwabiine, Jerode Okwore, David Ayebare, Richard Sonko and Diz Matovu.
“Many of the 59 are helping the police to trace the others. The talk of disappearance should be ignored because it can’t happen under NRM. Even if the mistake is made, it would be addressed and answered. We never cover up. There is nothing which we do and hide. Every Ugandan under NRM will be accounted for,” he said.
During the same address, Mr Museveni also castigated the European Union (EU) Parliament for debating to impose travel sanctions on some Ugandan officials last week over alleged gross human rights abuses during last month’s general elections.
“I read in the newspapers about the EU Parliament sanctioning some Ugandans from travelling. For anybody to think that Africans are dying to go to Europe is something that shows lack of seriousness,” the President said.
Museveni who were arrested in Mukono but released, according to Museveni