The Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga has expressed concerned over continued alleged torture of fishermen by Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) soldiers.
While meeting with the leadership of Sigulu Islands, led by the Members of Parliament, Geoffrey Macho (Busia Municipality) and George Abott Ouma (Bukooli Island County) on Monday, the Speaker called for an explanation from government over the torture claims.
“The President knows that they are making mistakes and he is still defending them. What is he doing about those mistakes; I will not stop talking. If they stop the atrocities, I will stop talking,” said Kadaga.
She added that she would arrange for another meeting with leaders, residents in fishing communities as well as President Yoweri Museveni.
“This time, I want to be in the meeting. Last time there was a meeting and he (President Museveni) said they would call me, but they did not call me.”
She also said she will convene another meeting with the Minister of Defence and Veteran Affairs to get a progress report on the steps being taken by government to stop the alleged torture by the UPDF.
“We had a very long meeting on the issue of atrocities committed by the marines. I expect that when they come back, they will give us answers,” said Kadaga.
During the State of the Nation Address on Thursday June, 6 2019, Museveni blamed political leaders in the fishing communities for mismanaging the conservation of Lake Victoria.
As a result, he said he was prompted to engage the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) in a bid to preserve the lake. He said despite making mistakes, the UPDF are more organised.
On the other hand Macho urged the UPDF marines to return all the confiscated property of the fishermen.
“The vehicles, motorcycles and boats should be given back to Ugandans. You hear the cries of the women who have been stopped from drying fish. Let women be left to continue drying fish,” said Macho.