By Ceasar Okello
According to a police report, at least 50 people have died following “countrywide” protests after Bobi Wine’s arrest in Luuka district last week on Wednesday.
Lira—25 November 2020: African Center for Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture Victim (ACTV) are demanding for immediate arrest of security officers who were involved in killing and injuring of civilians during last week riots in different parts of Uganda.
On the 18 and 19, November this year, Ugandans mainly supporters of the National Unity Platform (NUP) presidential candidate Kyagulanyi Robert Sentamu aka Bobi Wine went on streets of at least five towns (cities) after the arrest of Bobi Wine.
However, during the protests, security, both police and army engaged in a running battle with the rioters killing over 45 protesters (figure has risen to at least 50).
Many people are said to have been seriously injured after police used live bullets on them. More than 400 protestors, including bystanders were arrested.
On Tuesday, 24 November 2020, ACTV releases a statement pertaining to the fracas that happened.
Mr Herbert Samuel Nsubuga, the ACTV’s Chief Executive Officer, in a statement read to press by Program Officer, Mr Alfred Oketayot demanded that government should come out and bring to book those involved in the incident.
In the same statement, Mr Nsubuga outlined three (3) key things that need to be done immediately.
They are demanding the appointment of a substantial Chairperson of Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC). Two, arresting both police and UPDF officers who killed and injured civilian that day, and three, a mass community awareness on Covid-19, so that community can know.
According to him, the beating of rioters and shooting at them “was a total violation of human rights and is against the Constitution of Uganda”.
Mr Tony Okot, a Legal Officer at African Center for Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture Victim, said human rights is not given by anybody and must be guaranteed.
He states that appointing of a Chairperson of Human Rights Commission would help in investigating the violence that happened, resulting to the torturing of innocent rioters.
He added that even those whose rights were violated during the riots can sue the Attorney General for redress because it was the obligation of the state to protect the rights of its citizens.
Addressing the media last week, security minister Gen Elly Tumwine said that government does not regret the incident that claims the lives of Ugandans during the day Bobi Wine was arrested.
He added that police have a right to kill any rioters in self-defence. Mr Tumwine’s statement has been condemned by Uganda Catholic Lawyers’ Society Association (UCLA).
Bobi Wine and nine others are seeking votes from Ugandans to end president Museveni’s 35 year-rule. President Museveni got power in 1986 and his party, NRM, like in previous elections, gave him “a sole candidature mandate” to seek re-election.
The NRM candidate is campaigning using the slogan “Securing Your Future”. Many youths and opposition politicians have often demanded him to step down.
Whether their demand will yield fruits, the presidential election on 14 January 2021 will decide the next president of Uganda.
James Ouku contributed to this story.