Opposition Members of Parliament have reiterated their demand for clarification on the whereabouts of the legislators who were arrested in Arua on Monday.
The Opposition MPs led by the Leader of the Opposition in Parliament, Hon. Betty Aol Ocan (FDC, Gulu district) noted that a statement by Deputy Prime Minister Gen. Moses Ali did not clarify on the whereabouts of Hon. Francis Zaake (Ind, Mityana Municipality).
“The Prime Minister stated that Hon. Kyagulanyi had been flown to Gulu Military Hospital but made no mention of the condition and whereabouts of Hon. Zaake despite the pictures that were all-over the [social] media,” said Aol.
She added that they were following up on reports attributed to the Manager of Pacific Hotel in Arua where she said the firearms allegedly recovered from Kyagulanyi’s room were actually never found there.
“This purported search by security forces was carried out in the absence of the suspect and or any representative, which is against the laws of Uganda,” Aol said.
The MPs said Government had not provided concise information on their colleagues arrested and held in Gulu adding that they were working to find out where they are and ensure they receive justice and are released.
“Government institutions gave unsatisfactory information, not accounting for Ugandans including Members of Parliament and we are pushing to know where they are,” said Hon. Harold Tonny Muhindo (FDC, Bukonzo East County).
The LOP commended the Speaker of Parliament for constituting a team of six MPs to study the situation in Gulu, and also called on her to demand for the immediate release of MPs and other persons arrested saying, “… all the fictitious charges should be dropped.”
Kilak South County MP Hon. Gilbert Olanya noted with concern conflicting information about the trial venue for Kyagulanyi, who in the Deputy Prime Minister’s report to Parliament was Gulu Court Martial.
“Yesterday we were informed in Parliament that Hon. Kyagulanyi would appear in the Gulu General Court Martial, but the information we are receiving now is that he is to appear at the Makindye Court Martial. We wonder which is which,” said Olanya.
The MPs also demanded for an official statement from the Inspector General of Police Okoth Ochola,
“By this time the IGP should make a statement as the head of security charged with keeping law and order, because we cannot depend on the police spokesperson,” noted Hon. Roland Mugume (FDC, Rukungiri Municipality).
On Monday, 13 August 2018, Arua Municipality MP elect Kassiano Wadri, Hon. Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu (Ind., Kyaddondo East County), Hon. Francis Zaake (Ind., Mityana Municipality), Hon. Paul Mwiru (FDC, Jinja East Municipality), Hon. Gerald Karuhanga (Ind., Ntungamo Municipality), former MP Michael Mabikke and several others were arrested over what Internal Affairs Minister. Hon. Jeje Odongo in a report to Parliament termed as, “…obstruction and violent attack on the presidential motorcade at Prison cell, Arua Municipality.”
Three of the MPs and other persons were arraigned before the Gulu Chief Magistrates’ Court on Thursday.