Prosecute Them If They’ve A Case To Answer: Parliament Makes Alarm Over Continued Detention & Torture Of Rwenzururu Guards

Prosecute Them If They’ve A Case To Answer: Parliament Makes Alarm Over Continued Detention & Torture Of Rwenzururu Guards

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By Spy Uganda

Bukonzo West Member of Parliament, Hon. Atkins Katusabe has voiced his frustrations over the continued incarceration of Rwenzururu guards, who were arrested in 2016 after clashes with security forces.

Katusabe said he continues to get reports about the failing health of the jailed royal guards asking government to set them free.

“What we as leaders of the area call for is their unconditional release…release our people unconditionally; if they had a case to answer, they [prosecution] shouldn’t have waited for six years,” he said.

Deputy Attorney General, Hon. Jackson Kafuuzi, however, accounted for the detainees saying there is a solid case against them.

“Of the 221 accused persons, 11 were released on bail in 2017 and another 143 released on bail in January 2022; the rest of the accused were denied bail for various reasons and are still remanded in Luzira Prison,” he said.

Kafuuzi dismissed claims of torture and mistreatment and averred that the prisoners are fed well.

In 2016, the royal guards of Obusinga Bwa Rwenzururu were arrested following a crackdown by government, after days of a stalemate with security forces.

Omusinga wa Rwenzururu, Charles Wesley Mumbere, too, was arrested, charged and is out on bail, with strict terms that don’t allow him access to his Kingdom.

Deputy Speaker, Thomas Tayebwa said it is tricky for Parliament to debate full-blast, the merits of the case, citing sub-judice, but said issues of welfare and handling of the suspects in detention can be canvassed by the House.

“As a human being, I feel what Hon Katusabe feels; [but] you are asking one party, this is a matter before court. We are the ones that made laws not to allow us interfere with matters which are active in court…when a matter is still active, we can’t do much,” he said.

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