The opposition cabinet today highlighted six demands requiring government attention before they return to plenary sittings in Parliament.
In his address to the press after a cabinet meeting which convened today in Kampala, the Leader of Opposition in Parliament Hon. Mathias Mpuuga said the members resolved to continue staying away from house proceedings until the state addresses itself to the following demands relating to human rights abuses;
i. The Fate of the 18 Missing Persons; Hon. Mpuuga said the state should account for the whereabouts of all 18 missing persons.
ii. Detention without Trial; Respect for the provisions of Article 23(4)(b) of the Constitution.
iii. Trying civilians in the military Court Martial; Release all Political Prisoners who are facing tramped up charges before the military courts.
iv. Targeting and victimizing Muslims must stop; For any attack or murder committed, the state targets Muslims whom they indiscriminately kill and/or imprison without trial.
v. Violation of Human Rights in fishing communities; the LOP said Many Ugandans in the fishing communities have been killed, maimed and dishonoured by the UPDF.
vi. The Shrinking Civic Space, Mistreatment of Politicians, Media etc.. Hon Mpuuga said the state is highly repressive towards Opposition political parties, the Media and the Civil Society.
“We want to restate as opposition here that we still stand by our earlier stance and even if the house is called tomorrow, we shall not be part of it until we have in a sequence received a plausible and acceptable response to these issues, and be able to scrutinize the efficacy of the response for the comfort of the families and assurance of the nation that these violations will cease and therefore there is commitment.” Mpuuga stated.
Mr. Mpuuga however stated that another new serious matter the opposition have gotten concerned about is the ongoing land conflict between the Acholi and the ‘Balaalo’ cattle keepers in Northern Uganda. He said they are sure it’s a deliberate attempt to grab land from the Acholi and they have taken up the matter to demand for answers from the executive. The LOP said the most urgent concern about this matter and requires answers is the claim that Balaalo are wantonly grazing their cattle on crops owned by locals.
He clarified that from the time they departed the plenary, nobody has reached out to the opposition with a view to engendering a structured response to these issues, and he plus his colleagues are not ready to return to the house even if plenary sittings resume.