Uganda: The Republic of Kidnappings 

Dictator Museveni

Dictator Museveni presides over a murderous kidnapping regime. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

kidnapping of young people, brutal killings, and gang-rapes, all by security operatives continues to escalate in Uganda in the weeks leading to the Jan. 14 general elections.

Some political commentators and politicians fear that the state of terror created by Gen. Museveni’s regime could plunge the country into genocidal killings.

Since mid-November, when police arrested leading presidential candidate, member of Parliament Robert Kyagulanyi, a.k.a. Bobi Wine, the situation has gone from bad to worse. As many as 100 civilians were gunned down during the protests that erupted. No one has been held responsible for the killings. Instead, Gen. Yoweri Museveni, dictator since 1986, praised the armed forces.

The dictator’s son, Gen. Muhoozi Keinerugaba, commands the Special Forces Command (SFC). He also controls brutal militias called Local Defense Units (LDUs) that have been attacking opposition politicians and their supporters. Meanwhile, the Security Minister, Gen. Elly Tumwine has publicly condoned extrajudicial killings. These are some of the names should must be on the radar of prosecutors at the International Criminal Court (ICC). ( ).

Many families have reported the kidnappings or killings of loved ones. Some people have been killed by security operatives in plain clothes. In some cases, those in regular uniforms pull off their name tags to conceal their identities.

Gen. Museveni is aware that Bobi Wine is immensely popular. The only power he now holds is to push Uganda toward mass violence, before or after the Jan. 14 vote.

According to Member of Parliament Luttamaguzi Semakula: “There’s an ongoing genocide in the country.”

Others, including members of Parliament Muhammad Nsereko (Representing Kampala) and his fellow legislator, Ssemujju I. Nganda (representing Kiira Municipality), whilst appearing on a talk-show, said 1,500 young people had been kidnapped from Kampala and 60 from Kiira. MP Nsereko says the 1,500 constituents were picked up by security operatives over the protest of Kyagulanyi’s arrest in November 2020. MP Ssemujju’s 60 constituents were arrested for allegedly not wearing face masks, which costs 500 shillings, approximately US $ 0.14, a fortune to some who live on less than $2 per day.

The EU provided millions of dollars for Covid19 relief and the IMF $491.5 million in May–no significant relief was provided and funds have been embezzled or diverted to dictator Museveni’s campaign.

Luttamaguzi, the member of Parliament, claims the abductions are spearheaded by Gen. Salim Saleh, dictator Museveni’s brother, to eliminate as many young people as possible. 

The kidnapped young people are warehoused in illegal detention centers called Safe Houses or in prisons. 

In response to the allegations, the army spokesperson in Uganda, Brig Gen Flavia Byekwaso said that: “Allow me thank you for giving me chance to say something.”

“From the onset, those are serious allegations which put him in a far worse situation if he is proven to have made them,” Brig. Gen. Flavia Byekwaso, the army spokesperson said of Luttamaguzi’s allegations. “So to save him I propose that you ignore him. But most importantly, it’s not correct. How can he talk of a genocide, does he know what that means, or even understand the implication of his allegations?” 

She further said, “He knows it was not a kidnap, he was arrested and has been at Kitalya prison. He is lying.”

Byekwaso could not account for the hundreds of youth that continue to be reported as missing people. 

The list of families searching for their loved ones continues to swell:

1. Etienne Basenge Namenye, 33, a family man with two boys, originally from Masisi-Kitchanga in North Kivu Congo, based in Canada was kidnapped last month after spending five days in Uganda. Basenge Namenye was kidnapped from Platinum Royale Hotel, Avenue Busega. His missing person report number is NAT/SDREF: 31/06/12/20.

2. Geoffrey Kityo. He was kidnapped after the authorities read a story about his family based on an interview by this reporter. He is a relative of Joan Nakityo, who is missing, together with her two-year old daughter, and a 10-year-old son of her partner, Sharon Kalungi. 

3. Hellen Namubiru was kidnapped and brutally tortured. A stick was inserted into her private part–she still suffers from bleeding.
Namubiru is now in hiding.

4. Namubiru’s sister, Juliet Namiiro, 39, has been missing since March 2020. She disappeared after her friend Rita Nabukenya, was killed. Nabukenya, a staunch supporter of Bobi Wine was intentionally struck by a police vehicle. No one has ever been held accountable for her death.

5. John Bosco Kibalama, 39, an activist allied with Bobi Wine and People Power movement, went missing in July of 2019.

6. Kibalama’s close friend Solomon Ssebbaale, 29, of Kiwoko, Luwero District, went missing in September 2019. The missing person report number is SD/02/04/06/2019.

(The Republic of Kidnapping will continue in part 2).

You can reach the author via [email protected] with your report about a kidnapped relative. Send as much details as possible about the kidnapping and a photograph of the victim.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *