UHRC Fails to Trace 18 Abducted NUP Supporters, Closes Files


The Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC) announced the conclusion of its investigations into the disappearance of 18 National Unity Platform (NUP) supporters who went missing during the 2021 presidential election campaigns.

Since that period, numerous NUP supporters had been reported missing, with some eventually found in police custody or detention centers. However, the UHRC has been unable to locate these particular 18 individuals, and the chances of finding them are now deemed slim.

During a press briefing addressing the commission’s findings on the complaint filed by NUP Secretary-General Mariam Wangadya, the UHRC Chairperson revealed that they had successfully located 12 of the 30 missing persons, but the whereabouts of the remaining 18 remain unknown.

Wangadya explained that most of the located individuals had been arrested by security agencies for various offenses, including vandalism and murder, and had subsequently been released on police bond. However, the commission did not follow up on the outcomes of their cases.

She stated, “Our investigation revealed that most of these abductees were, at some point, arrested by security forces for various offenses, including vandalism of electricity transmission equipment and murder, and they were subsequently released on police bond. Unfortunately, we did not track the resolution of their cases.

“Wangadya added that while many of the located individuals chose not to pursue their cases further, four of them requested the commission to investigate their claims of wrongful arrest and torture during their time in detention centers.

Those who were located and are currently living within their communities include Ahumuza Patrick, Kavuma Jamshid, Kirumira Godfrey, Muleme Steven, Ntale Charles, Sonko Haruna Badru, Bayani Abdul, Khalid Sebi, Kabugo Alex, Ssebunya Yasin, Kagimu Fred, and Mubiru Sadat. Four of them, namely Ntale Charles, Ahumuza Patrick, Sonko Haruna Badru, and Mubiru Sadat, have urged the commission to pursue their cases.

However, the UHRC has been unable to trace the whereabouts of the following 18 individuals: Mbabazi Moses, Zzimula Dennis, Wangolo Shafick, Lukwago Martin, Kirya Peter, Ddamulira John, Ssemuddu Micheal, Kanatta Muhammad, Kibalama John Bosco, Nalumoso Vincent, Ssempijja Yuda, Musisi Mboowa, Luwemba Mustafa, Mubiru Hassan, Ssesaazi Isma, Kisembo Godfrey, Kasumba George, and Baguma Joseph.

Wangadya stated that the commission decided to close these 18 files due to the limited available information and the lack of cooperation from the individuals’ designated next of kin. She said, “There is a limit to how far we can investigate in cases where we receive minimal information about how and where these people were taken. Moreover, the next of kin provided little cooperation with our investigators.”

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