Government has said that most of the 177 people who have been missing were arrested after being found in possession of military stores were consequently arraigned in the General Court Martial and remanded.
Presenting the list of missing persons to Parliament on Thursday, Internal Affairs Minister, Gen Jeje Odong said of the 177, 156 were found in possession of military stores.
According to the list, the 156 were arraigned before the army court where charges of unlawful possession of military stores were read to them and consequently remanded to Makindye military police prison pending trial.
The list also has 53 people who were arrested for participation in riots and a big number of them was also remanded to Makindye Military prison.
Section 161 of the UPDF Act stipulates that any person who acquires military stores or solicits or procures any person to dispose of military stores commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding 340 currency points or imprisonment not exceeding 14 years or both.
One currency point is equivalent to shs20,000 and the 340 currency points, in this case, are equivalent to shs6.8 million.
Here is the full list of missing persons released by government:
Last month, President Museveni dismissed reports that the people were missing but noted security organs had arrested them over various offences.
“There were people who were arrested by CMI. They were in 2 categories which involved 177 who were granted bail or released. Another are 65 still being investigated. Their names should be made public so that this talk of disappearance is answered,” he said.
“Therefore, the talk of disappearance should be ignored because it can’t happen under the NRM. Even if a mistake is made it will be addressed and answered. There is nothing we do and hide.I was hearing in the papers that there is a stampede on the issue of disappearance. Every Ugandan under NRM will be accounted for.”
However, the number of people on the list released by the Internal Affairs Minister doesn’t tally with the number mentioned by the President during his address to the nation.
President Museveni mentioned more than 200 people but the latest list has only 177 people reported as missing, raising queries on the varying numbers.
The latest development is a sigh of relief to relatives of some of the victims who were worried about the whereabouts of their loved ones, many of whom have been missing for over a month or so but has on the other side not helped anything to the relatives of the people whose names have not appeared on the list.
Sigh of relief
The list released by government also partially brings to an end the confusion among security agencies on who is to release the list and when.
It was recently reported that whereas the list had been handed over to police by the army, the same could not readily be released.
A press conference called to release the list was called off by the Deputy Inspector General of Police without giving any clear reasons.
It later emerged that police first wanted to look at the people whose names were on the list before making it public to avoid embarrassment in case they had been tortured while in the army’s detention.