Uganda's opposition meet in Nairobi, demand justice for November riot victims

Plain clothed security personnel patrol the streets of Kampala during the deadly November 18/19- 2020 riots. PHOTOS/STEPHEN OTAGE 

What you need to know:

  • Last month, NUP indicated that more than 12 of their supporters, who they claim were abducted by security agencies two years ago, were still missing.

Opposition politicians yesterday met in Nairobi, Kenya, demanding accountability from the Kampala establishment about the dozens of people who were killed during the November 18, 2020 riots.
The sporadic protests ensued across the country, especially around the central region after the arrest of National Unity Platform (NUP) party presidential candidate, Mr Robert Kyagulanyi, alias Bobi Wine, in Luuka District before he was driven to Nalufenya Police Station in Jinja District.

During a televised address days after the protests, President Museveni said 54 people were killed, of which 32 were rioters while 20 were hit by stray bullets.
Although he promised to compensate the families of those who lost their lovely ones, many of the victims that were paraded at the Uganda Human Rights Accountability Conference, which was organised by the Kenya Human Rights Commission at Ufungano House in the Nairobi yesterday, said they had never got any help.

All government spokespersons did not respond to our repeated calls and messages by press time for a comment on the matter.
Opposition leaders, including Bobi Wine, four-time presidential candidate Col (Rtd) Kizza Besigye,  Maj Gen (rtd) Mugisha Muntu, the Alliance for National Transformation leader, attended the conference.

Bobi, Besigye accuse Museveni of basking in impunity 
Bobi Wine and Dr Besigye appealed to the international community to join hands with Ugandans in such times as loss of lives during a political activity, indicating that their silence could affect the way human rights violations are viewed.

Opposition leaders also condemned what they called abductions of their supporters who later appear on various media platforms with torture marks.
“People in the West only know Idi Amin as a torturer, they don’t know that Mr Museveni has done worse atrocities than the one they know. The people that are being picked from their houses and streets in drones replicated more torture than that of Amin,” Dr Besigye said.

Last month, NUP indicated that more than 12 of their supporters, who they claim were abducted by security agencies two years ago, were still missing.
However, the Information minister, Dr Chris Baryomunsi, as well as spokespersons for police and the military in separate interviews said they were unaware of missing Opposition supporters.

“One of my bodyguards Jamshid Kavuma has been missing for the last 13 days and I don’t know whether he is dead or alive. We call upon Kenyans to disassociate themselves from Gen Museveni and all his actions because he is not human,” Bobi Wine said.
Ms Martha Karua, the leader of NARC, an opposition political party in Kenya, and the guest of honour at the event urged Africans to speak out against injustices.

“I would like to tell the people across Africa and those that work with the dictators like in Uganda that it is your silence that aided these kinds of actions to continue to happen. We rose up against colonialists and it is high time we rose up against our fellow Africans that treat us like the colonialists did,” Ms Karua said.