The Secretary General of National Unity Platform (NUP) David Lewis Rubongoya has written to the Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC) regarding five of their “abducted” supporters.
These include; Khalid Sebi, Alex Kabugo Kasaija, Sebunya Yasin, Kagimu Fred and Mubiru Sadat Sadam. According to Rubongoya, these people were “violently” picked up from Nakaseke District by a drone and one from Salama Road in Kampala.
In the letter dated February 21 2023, Rubongoya noted that the state operatives have continued to abduct their supporters, hold them incommunicado and subject to torture and cruel treatment which is against the law.
“In accordance with Article 52 (1) of the 1995 Constitution, I hereby lodge another complaint regarding five more NUP supporters who have recently been abducted by armed security operatives moving in drones and are still missing,” he noted in a letter seen by the Nile Post.
He claimed that many of their supporters have returned with grave torture marks, while others have not been seen or heard from for months or years now.
“The list and details of the recent victims and circumstances of their abduction are attached herein. The family members of these victims, as well as our legal teams have tried to trace them without success,” read part of the letter.
He requested the commission to expeditiously investigate the whereabouts of these persons and ensure they reunite with their families as soon as possible.
“The commission should also exercise its mandate and put an end to this crisis of violent abductions and incommunicado detentions targeting our supporters,” he said, adding that family members have chilling tales of how much violence their loved ones were subjected to while being taken away.
“We usually report these matters so we are on record, because we believe there will be time for accountability for these crimes against humanity,” he said.
For the past three years, NUP, which is the biggest political party in the country, has accused the government through security organs of abducting some of its supporters.
It claims that the government has continued to persecute opposition supporters with abduction as one of the methods used for persecution.
At least 54 people, most of them believed to have been NUP supporters, were killed and others sustained serious injuries as security forces worked to end two days of protests that followed Kyagulanyi’s November 18, 2020, arrest in Luuka District.
Recently, the UHRC chairperson, Mariam Wangadya said the commission wrote to the NUP Secretary General, a copy of the letter they sent to the party president Robert Kyagulanyi alias Bobi Wine to provide details of the missing persons.
She however accused the party of being part of the growing trend by politicians to use non-existent abductions as a political mobilisation tool.