Ugandan Prime minister Robinah Nabbanja has advised Leader of Opposition Mathias Mpuuga to let the police do its work and track down missing persons, as mandated by the constitution.
Nabbanja charged that Mpuuga was interfering in police work by claiming that relatives of missing National Unity Party (NUP) supporters were reporting to their offices instead of the mandated law keeping entity.
The prime minister made the remarks while appearing on NBS Television’s Barometer show on Tuesday night.
She was responding to a question about the fate of allegedly missing NUP supporters whose families claim they were picked up by persons claiming to work for security agencies.
“I wouldn’t want the Leader of Opposition to do the role of the police. If someone goes missing, reach out to police and get a reference. People are going to NUP offices instead of going to the police,” she advised.
Nabbanja argued that the National Resistance Movement (NRM), which is also the ruling party, is credited with returning law and order in Uganda. She said, it therefore made no sense, that NRM would sow a sense of unease and insecurity among its own people.
Mpuuga and NUP leaders have since 2020 accused government of kidnapping people who express open support for the party and its president Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu.
Mpuuga went as far as presenting parliament with a list of 400 names in March 2021 that he claimed were abucted NUP supporters. Three more such lists of missing persons would be presented to the 10th and current 11th parliament, with the latest on October 6, 2022.
The last list was directly addressed to Nabbanja.
But Nabbanja claimed that of the 25 names on the list addressed to her, several had not been recorded as missing by police. She went on to say, “When Uganda Human Rights Commission made a check, it found out that some people on the list were in their homes. Uganda is governed by the rule of law. You are held responsible for any crime you commit, regardless of who you are.”
Several government officials including the Minister of ICT and National Guidance Dr Chris Baryomunsi blamed the opposition for bringing incomplete information making it hard for the police to trace these missing people.