NUP has refused to provide me with the list of supporters detained, says Balaam

NUP has refused to provide me with the list of supporters detained, says Balaam
Minister Balaam

Minister of State for Youth & Children Affairs, Balaam Barugahara, has accused the National Unity Platform (NUP) of withholding the list of its supporters believed to be held in different detention facilities as political prisoners, hindering their release by President Museveni.

“When I was in the Appointments Committee, Speaker Anitah Among asked me to speak to the President to ensure that NUP supporters are released, and the President in his voice and video requested the list. I asked NUP to provide the list—I hope the Leader of the Opposition, Joel Ssenyonyi, is here—but I am yet to receive it,” said Barugahara.

However, Leader of the Opposition, Joel Ssenyonyi, criticized Parliament for allowing Barugahara to speak without undergoing orientation on parliamentary procedures.

He stated that the list of missing persons was given to the Attorney General, and some political prisoners are being persecuted in various courts of law.

“It is important as Parliament that we orient our new colleagues on our modus operandi, how we operate, points of order, and the like. We have discussed in this very Parliament the issues of missing persons, some who were disappeared, people who are in jail irregularly," he said.

"Some missing persons, as acknowledged by the Prime Minister, are in the hands of the State like John Bosco Kibalama, and we tabled that list here in Parliament, giving it to the Attorney General. Courts are processing many of these matters," added Ssenyonyi.

Ssenyonyi requested that their supporters in detention facilities be released on bail because this isn’t prosecution but persecution.

“Is it for a new Minister, who seems to be a novice, to come with excitement and claim that he has the mandate to pursue a matter of people who are simply being persecuted as opposed to being prosecuted?” added Ssenyonyi before his microphone was switched off.

However, Deputy Speaker Thomas Tayebwa chastised Ssenyonyi for the disrespectful language he used against Balaam, saying, “You know the language we use in Parliament, even when you disagree with a person. Language matters; even if you are new, do the needful.”

“As a lawyer and someone proficient in English, the word 'novice' means someone new to the profession. Balaam is a new Minister, so the word 'novice' isn’t derogatory in any way, except for those who need to brush up on their English,” responded Ssenyonyi to Tayebwa's criticism of his choice of words.

Four new members of Parliament, including two ex-officio ministers, were sworn in the 11th Parliament.

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