Ugandan MP threaten to sleep in Parliamentary Chambers over mistreatment

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LOP Hon Betty Aol Achan and Hon. Atkins Katusabe at a press conference in Parliament on Friday; Sabasaba Photo

Bukonjo West Member of Parliament Hon. Katusabe Godfrey Atkins has vowed to spend a night in the chambers of parliament protesting the continued harassment and inhumane treatment meted on him by security agencies.

The legislator made the threat following an alleged assassination attempt on his life and humiliation by armed security officers, which he says has not been addressed despite reports and pleas to relevant authorities.  

Katusabe claims while he was speaking to his voters at Karukumiza trading centre, Karambi Sub-County on 13th January 2020, he was humiliated and dehumanized by armed police and UPDF officers. He however says before the incident, he had been tipped off that there is a plot to assassinate him.

On the fateful day, Katusabe claims he was forced to sit in the mud, his shoes removed and thrown away, and when he questioned the motive behind their actions, he was mocked that he is not the first MP to be humiliated or killed. He alleges his tormentors made away with cash amounting to 91,257 dollars which he had in the car meant to cater for his family living in the US.

“It is the 10th assassination attempt on my life but this one came clear…i am here to say; on Tuesday should parliament convene, my family, my constituents, i will be sleeping in parliament because government has refused to listen” He said.

He says it has almost become a norm for MPs to be violently and inhumanely humiliated by security structures in Uganda which must stop. Katusabe says, he has been pushed to bring the issue to parliament after his pleas to have his tormentors apprehended and prosecuted fell on deaf ears yet their identities are well known.

Sitting alongside the Leader of Opposition in Parliament Hon. Betty Aol Achan, he rallied all MPs who cherish human life not leave the chambers of parliament on the day the house returns from recess next week if his issue is not addressed.

He demanded that parliament issues directives for the immediate arrest of the commanders of the operation in which he was humiliated, investigations into the matter conducted, and culprits prosecuted for aggravated robbery. He also wants parliament to direct recovery or refund of his money.

The LOP Hon. Achan said he expects all MPs to sleep in parliament on that day because the issue of human rights and humiliation cuts across all political affiliations though the opposition makes the most frequent victims.

Katusabe says sleeping in parliament is the most appropriate and peaceful way to demonstrate their displeasure, and it has been proven to be effective as used by legislators in other countries like UK and Canada.

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