Uganda Human Rights Commission Exposes Discrepancies in NUP’s Missing Persons Allegations

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The Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC) has released its findings regarding the National Unity Platform’s (NUP) claims of missing supporters. The commission raised questions about the credibility of the claims and noted discrepancies in the provided information.

Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC) Chairperson Mariam Wangadya. Photo by NewVision

The Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC) issued a statement on Tuesday, October 10, 2023, in which they disclosed that, out of the 30 individuals whom the National Unity Platform (NUP) political party claimed to be missing, 12 were, in fact, apprehended under suspicion of committing various offenses. Subsequently, these individuals were either granted release on police bond or court bail.

During her presentation on Tuesday, October 10, 2023, UHRC Chairperson Mariam Wangadya conveyed that the NUP had provided erroneous information concerning certain supporters who were either reported as missing or alleged to have endured mistreatment by security agencies.

Wangadya stated that NUP Secretary-General David Lewis Rubongoya had submitted a list of 30 names of individuals purportedly missing.

“Among this list of 30, it is noteworthy that five individuals were reportedly detained in Nakaseke between January and February 2023. The UHRC initiated a thorough inquiry into these complaints to ascertain the veracity of the allegations, with the objective of guiding the Commission in determining its subsequent actions,” she explained.

However, she pointed out that some of those whom the party claimed were subjected to torture either failed to cooperate by providing additional evidence to substantiate their claims, as exemplified by the case of Alexandreos Marinos, who allegedly suffered mistreatment by UPDF soldiers and subsequently disappeared, with the Commission losing contact with her. Alternatively, some altered the narrative of their allegations, rendering them significantly different from their initial reports, as illustrated by the case of Eric Mwesigwa.

Furthermore, Wangadya clarified that certain individuals previously believed to be victims of torture were, in fact, involved in road accidents.

“This recurring pattern of incidents has raised questions regarding the credibility of the individuals bringing forth complaints to the Commission. Furthermore, Rubongoya failed to furnish us with National Identity card numbers for the majority of the individuals alleged to be missing, despite reminders. This omission made it challenging for us to confirm the existence of these purported ‘victims’,” stated the UHRC.

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