PARLIAMENT: President Museveni has accused the Opposition MPs and their supporters in the Arua Municipality by-election chaos of pelting the car he was being driven in with stones and asked the Speaker of Parliament to “refrain from using the word ‘torture’” in condemning the soldiers’ actions on MPs.
The claims are contained in a five-page letter dated August 31st to Ms Rebecca Kadaga, in which he was responding to demands to bring to book the Special Forces Command (SFC) soldiers who tortured the MPs, especially Robert Kyagulanyi (Kyadondo East MP) and Francis Zaake (Mityana Municipality).
The President insisted that his soldiers were assisting the police to quell the MPs’ supporters whom he said had hit his vehicle with projectiles.
“It was just after passing the grader that I heard two bangs on my vehicle. I was then informed by my ADC that my vehicle had been hit by projectiles thrown by those groups in the opposition procession. I instructed my convoy to ignore those hooligans and proceed to the helicopter which they did without firing a single bullet,” the President’s letter reads in part.
“Upon my departure, members of the SFC went back toward the town to assist the police to disperse the crowd which was clearly so intoxicated that they saw no problem in stoning the vehicle of the President of Uganda,” Mr Museveni wrote.
The President’s claim is a total departure from his earlier statement in which he claimed that the luggage carrier in his convoy was the one hit by a stone on that fateful day.
In the strongly-worded letter, the President also described the opposition supporters as “terrorists” and “hooligans”.
“As part of the allegations, it is said that terrorists are transported from Kampala areas to these upcountry constituencies to beat, injure and intimidate the voters as well as damage to citizen’s property. Even in Rukungiri, there were verbal threats, attacks on individuals and damage citizen’s property,” he adds.
“Mr Kyagulanyi’s supporters had acquired a road grader to maybe, block the road that I was using to get to my destination” and said the opposition ferries “terrorists” from Kampala to upcountry constituencies.”
The President also told the Speaker that the Chief of Defence Forces (CDF) and the Inspector General of Police have instituted a committee to investigate the allegations of torture against the officers.
Mr Museveni warned foreign agencies and human rights groups on meddling into Uganda’s affairs.
“As for the cacophony of the so-called human rights defenders, in reality, agents of imperialist’s interests and their local lackeys, I would advise them to stop wasting their time in Uganda which has got capable systems and Institutions beginning with the army …….It is clear that these idlers are enjoying our good roads and filing malicious stories about Uganda using our fast class internet backbone.”