Buganda Youth Council has called upon government to come out to explain the whereabouts of a number of Ugandans who have been abducted by people believed to be from security organs and detained under unclear circumstances.
Addressing journalists on Saturday at Bulange in Mengo, the Buganda Youth Council chairperson, Baker Ssejjengo said a number of Ugandans, mostly youths have been abducted from several parts of the county, mostly Buganda , noting that no clear explanation has been given.
“Over 1000 persons, mostly youths have been reported missing in the areas of Kyaddondo, Busiro, Mawokota, Ssingo, Kyaggwe and Buddu among others. Relatives have mentioned that the victims were picked up in vans with tinted glasses without number plates and have since had no knowledge whatsoever of their whereabouts,”Ssejjengo said.
“Government should come clear on this. These should be explanations on what is happening because article 23 of the Constitution guarantees the right to personal liberty.”
According to the legal advisor to the Buganda Youth Council, Vivian Namale, no person is supposed to be subjected to arbitrary arrest and detention, adding that the law provides for legal ways of arrest and detention.
“The legal provisions not only prohibit detention in ungazetted detention centers but also guarantees that upon arrest, a person should be allowed to inform their next of kin about the arrest and the charges but this has not been the case with the abductions. We have only witnessed a total violation of constitutionality and the rule of law,”Namale said.
The Buganda Youth Council said it is high time security conclude ongoing investigations in respect to the abductions and release a comprehensive report.
“The Internal Affairs Minister recently said some of the people behind these abductions were arrested but that is not enough. We want their identities shown to us. We also demand that the suspects whose rights have been violated by being detained beyond the 48 hours be unconditionally released or produced before courts of law,” said Zephania Zzimbe, the spokesperson of the Buganda Youth Council.
According to Derrick Kavuma, the vice-chairperson of the Buganda Youth Council, they have put in place a team of five lawyers to offer legal assistance to the families of the victims of the abductions.
“The team of lawyers will offer free services to the families to help them locate their loved ones. We will go to court to file habeas corpus applications to ensure the abductees are produced in court. We are in touch with other civil society organizations to offer assistance to these families at no cost,”Kavuma said.
A few weeks ago, the Internal Affairs Minister, Gen Jeje Odongo told parliament that the whereabouts of 31 of the 44 missing people are not known but noted investigations into the same are still ongoing.
The minister however dismissed claims by some MPs that the kidnaps were targeted to mostly youths in Buganda.
President Museveni is expected to speak about the abductions later today as he addresses the country about the security situation.