Uganda Police Refuses to Take Fall For Rampant Army Abductions

  • by Rodney Mponye
  • February 24, 2021

The police leadership has declined to take public accountability and responsibility for the over 200 missing persons whose whereabouts still remain unknown.

President Museveni in his address barely a fortnight ago, confirmed that the army was holding over 200 suspects, who he referred to as terrorists. Museveni said he deployed military commandos who did a good job by arresting all people who planned to engage in violent and terrorism-related activities before, during and after the general elections. He urged the security agencies to release the names of the missing persons so as to cool down tempers of angry and worried Ugandans.

A joint security briefing that had been planned for this week on Monday at 11 am was abruptly cancelled without any explanation. However, URN has reliably been informed by a senior police source that the top police leadership demanded to first have a look at all the suspects who have not been arraigned in courts of law.

Sources added that deputy inspector general of police, Maj Gen Paul Lokech, was expected to lead security chiefs in a police conference that was to give an account of all people who are being held by Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI) and Joint Anti-Terrorism Task Force (JATT).

It is reported that police directors among others CID boss, AIGP Grace Akullo and Crime Intelligence director, Brig Chris Damulira, informed a meeting attended by police officials that they had not seen any of the persons being held by the army agencies.

“When the DIGP and other directors received a copy containing names of 200 people from CMI, they asked the directors of CID and CI whether they had seen the suspects. They all said they had not seen the suspects. It was at this point they asked themselves what shows the suspects were still alive and safe,” the source said.

The meeting, according to sources, resolved that CID and CI teams must have a look at the suspects before they read names to the public. It is reported that a decision was made that the names should not be released until the condition of all the suspects is ascertained.

“We should not hold the responsibility of suspects we don’t have. What if we say they are safe when they have been tortured or killed? If not, we shall just email the names to journalists as received from CMI,” the source said quoting the meeting.

UPDF spokesperson Brig Flavia Byekwaso said the names of the suspects shall be released soon. She urged Ugandans to be patient.

“You just be patient. The list will come out very soon. Nothing to worry about,” Brig Byekwaso said.

Security operatives have since November last year been abducting people in places like Kawaala, Makerere, Masanafu, Kisekka, Kisenyi, Bugolobi, Kireka, Mukono, Wakiso, Mpigi, Masaka and Lwengo.