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AG Files Additional Evidence Denying Whereabouts of Missing NUP Supporters :: Uganda Radionetwork

AG Files Additional Evidence Denying Whereabouts of Missing NUP Supporters

In their previous evidence, the Attorney General said that the missing persons were fictitious , non existent and that investigations were still ongoing.
Some of the relatives of the Missing Persons together with their lawyer Musisi , Leader of Opposition Ssenyonyi and NUP Secretary General David Lewis Rubongoya at Court.

Audio 3

The Attorney General has filed additional evidence to the High Court in Kampala strengthening his defense that the government and security agencies do not know the whereabouts of 18 missing persons who are supporters of the National Unity Platform-NUP. 

The Attorney General on Wednesday brought two more affidavits before the Civil Division Judge Esta Nambayo to supplement the already submitted four other affidavits in the case filed against the government demanding the accountability and subsequent release of the supporters.

The missing persons are: John Bosco Kibalama, John Damulira, Shafik Wangolo, Martin Lukwago, Michael Semudu, Musisi Mbowa, Vincent Nalumoso, Dennis Zimbula, Muhammad Kanatta, George Katumba, Moses Mbabazi, Yuda Ssempijja, Alphat Mugumya, Peter Kitya, Mustapha Muwemba, Hassan Mubiru, Isma Ssesaazi, and Godfrey Kisembo.

In their case filed in January, the relatives of the missing persons argue that the government’s conduct is an abuse of their human rights obligations to respect, uphold, and promote their fundamental human rights and freedoms.

They are seeking compensation for a breach of the suspects' constitutional rights and an order for damages and punitive demands arguing that their people were abducted one by one by security operatives between 2019 and 2021 and they have since been nowhere to be seen.

On Wednesday, both parties including their lawyer George Musisi, David Lewis Rubongoya the Secretary General of NUP, and Joel Ssenyonyi, the Leader of Opposition in Parliament on behalf of the applicants and the Attorney General through State Attorneys Jackie Amusugut and Arnold Kyeyune appeared before  Lady Justice Nambayo.

This was to confirm if the Attorney General had already filed additional evidence in the case after the government had been given timelines within which to file it. 

However, the government hadn't complied with the April 15th, 2024 deadline hence filing the evidence today.

In his additional evidence, the Attorney General contends that several complaints have been made by members of the NUP regarding allegations of missing persons.

But following the complaints, police together with other security agencies embarked on investigations into the alleged disappearance of the missing persons. 

According to Samalie Eve  Detective Superintendent of Police attached to Crime Intelligence Directorate of Police, she was the team leader regarding investigations concerning Damulira, Semudu, Kitya, and Luwemba.

Samalie notes that Damulira, appeared at the police on October 26th, 2020 following his arrest with other people from Kisekka market for inciting violence in a case registered at CPS Kampala in 2020. 

She notes that Damulira together with others was arraigned at  Buganda Road Court on October 28th, 2020, and was later bailed. However, he skipped bail and his whereabouts remained unknown.

"I know that the allegation that the 2nd applicant /Damulira was arrested by security operatives on November 21st is not true and the applicants shall be put to strict proof thereof", reads  Samalie's affidavit.

The Attorney General contends that he knows the court order issued for the release of Damulira was inconsequential since he is not in the custody of the State.

He adds that it was reported that Semudu was picked up by people dressed in civilian clothes armed with pistols on November 21 2020 and allegedly driven towards Lungujja side. However, a search was conducted in Nateete, Old Kampala, and Katwe Police Stations ' lock-ups and there was no trace of Semudu or evidence of his arrest as alleged. 

"That I know that an order issued by the Court for the unconditional release of 5th applicant could not be implemented as the applicant is not in the custody of the respondents and his whereabouts remain unknown", adds Samalie's affidavit. 

The same applies to Peter  Kirya, Mustafa Luwemba Godfrey Kisembo, and George Kasumba because the government says they are not in their hands. 

The government says efforts to meet the alleged next of kin of Luwemba, a one Musisi were futile as he preferred only meeting the investigating team upon consulting the then Leader of the Opposition, Mathias Mpuga. 

The government continues to investigate the alleged missing persons as required under the law according to their additional evidence. But the Attorney General says the case is devoid of merit and the government cannot be compelled to account for people who are not in their custody.

In their previous evidence, the Attorney General said that the missing persons were fictitious and non-existent and that investigations were still ongoing. 

Their lawyer George Musisi said that in the last court session, the Government was ordered to conclude the submission of its evidence but they didn't meet the deadline.

Musisi said that the detectives are biased because the government must account for all its people and that there are several contradictions in their defense.

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Ssenyonyi said that they will continue pursuing justice for the missing persons both politically and legally.

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Luganda Audio.

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The case was adjourned to next week on May 3rd for further directions.