Uganda: Free Nup Supporters to Ease Tension, Says Mengo

Buganda Katikkiro Charles Peter Mayiga has warned that the continued detention of Bobi Wine's supporters demeans the core values of the National Resistance Movement (NRM) when it ascended to power 36 years ago.

Mr Mayiga said government should display evidence of the weapons it claims were in possession of detained Bobi Wine supporters, and also asked for proof of how the group had organised to destabilise the country.

"Most of those people have families they look after. Let them be prosecuted justly. They can even be released on bail. These things are causing political tensions which are a detriment to investment," Mr Mayiga said during a Lukiiko meeting yesterday at Bulange Mengo in Kampala.

The government spokesperson and executive director of the Uganda Media Centre, Mr Ofwono Opondo, said he could not respond because he was out of Kampala and instead referred us to Information minister Judith Nabakooba, who was reportedly attending a Cabinet meeting.

Mr Mayiga said human rights and constitutionalism were key issues that brought in the NRM into power but neglecting them is a shame.

More than 30 Bobi Wine supporters were arrested on December 30 last year in Kalangala District during the presidential campaigns.

They have been charged in the military court martial for unlawful possession of live ammunition, and their efforts to gain bail have been futile.

Mr Mayiga also said unlawful treatment of journalists, the brutal treatment of the fishing community as well as political detentions are a contrast for what the NRM stood for.


"Instead of brutalising journalists who only report about events, the police and military should avoid the occurrence of such events," the Katikkiro said.

He said tomorrow's swearing-in of President Museveni for the 6th elective term should come with a new era where youth unemployment, poverty, priotisation of social services and agriculture are on the forefront.

"All elected leaders should prioritise the issues that affect the public such as improving education and the welfare of workers. How can nurses strike over a meal of lunch? I think this is affordable by the government," Mr Mayiga said.

He said the government seems to be acting deliberately refusing to pay rent fees with now arrears amounting to more than Shs200b. Most of the prisons, courts, police and health centre facilities sit on Buganda land.

"If government can pay other private individuals like those renting out Parliament offices, they can pay us. We hope this will be resolved as well as the issue of federalism," Mr Mayiga said.

He asked government to ignore a recommendation in the Catherine Bamugemereire report that asked for abolition of Mailo land tenure system.

"Instead courts should resolve land disputes on time, land politics and duplicity of land title should cease," Mayiga commented.

On the state of the Kingdom, Mayiga now eight years as Katikkiro said that the health sector is leading in blood donations in the central region and it continues to organize health camps to health communities access health related information and treatment.

The Kingdom's lands sector Mayiga said has enabled regularizing land tenancy and therefore access to bank credits by those who have applied for leasehold titles.

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