Uganda’s Prime Minister, Ruhakana Rugunda has defended the role of Special Forces Command (SFC) in the recently concluded ‘bloody’ Arua Municipality by-elections.
This follows Parliament’s ad hoc Committee report on tortured MPs said that it did not find any evidence that the situation in Arua was beyond the ability and capacity of the Uganda Police Force and therefore found the recourse to brute force by the military against civilians not only disproportionate, but also inhumane and demanded to have the perpetrators apprehended.
However, Rugunda rejected the report, saying it is full of falsehoods and with no evidence to prove the allegations and asked MPs to reject the report.
He explained to Parliament that any security organ is at liberty to handle any security challenge, noting that it was wise for the general security infrastructure to come in quickly and handle the Arua situation.
He added that hadn’t SFC acted swiftly, Uganda would have had more problems.
“I commend the precision of our security organs that contained the situation and prevented chaos that would come from the problems. Because of the fact that there is no complete evidence, I personally propose that Parliament rejects this report,” Rugunda said.
However, his remarks angered Leader of Opposition, Betty Aol, saying Rugunda’s proposal to reject the report was a shame.
“For the Prime Minister to say that let the report be rejected, I really pity you, what a shame. I am surprised the Chairperson, didn’t sign the report, if she didn’t agree, she should have come up with the Minority report as an individual,” she said.
Rugunda also commended Parliament for having the report tabled after the temperature and emotions had cooled down.
He said that although Parliament formed the Committee, the team turned out to be divided as the members never converged which explains why the report reading had to be read by Jovah Kamateeka, after the Committee Chairperson, Doreen Amule abandoned to read it.
The Prime Minister said that the report has significant weaknesses, wondering why the Committee didn’t visit the initial site of the problem (Arua) and trace the story as it evolved to eventually come up with a conclusion after all actors had been looked out.
“There is a big gap. I have not seen report of Committee talking to President Yoweri Museveni who was the first victim to be pelted with stones. Without the critical witnesses being brought on board, this doesn’t give us a good view,” he said.