By Mukose Arnold Anthony.
It is almost a week ever since Rtd. Lt. Gen. Henry Tumukunde was arrested jointly with other 14, people by police and army over treason related charges, but they haven’t been brought before courts law even after the elapse of the mandatory 48hours.
Yesterday, the General and others were expected to be produced before magistrate’s court in Nakawa, but despite their lawyers waiting at Court, none of them was brought.
These injustices have forced Chapter Four, a human rights organization in Uganda, to stand tall in condemning and tasking Ugandan authorities to with due respect follow the laws and respect the Constitution of the republic.
In a press statement released on Tuesday evening, Chapter Four say that; even after Uganda Police accepting that they are detaining retired Lt. Gen. Tumukunde in relation to charges of treason and offenses against the State under section 23 (2) (b) and (3) (b) of the Penal Code Act which they claim that he instigated persons to invade the Republic of Uganda and incited people to make a mutinous assembly but police haven’t indicated the charges being thought of against other 14.
Chapter Four further task police if they have sufficient evidence against Tumukunde and others, to immediately produce them in a court of law and guarantee him a fair trial.
These human rights defenders further added that, the continued detention subjects the suspects to possible violations of other personal liberties and freedom from torture and other forms of inhuman or degrading treatment as stipulated in the Human Rights Enforcement Act of 2019.
Much as the law talks of the mandatory 48 hours, but the suspects have spent more than 72 hours in police custody.
Tumukunde was on March 12, 2020 at his Kololo officces was arrested with close family relatives including his son, brother Hon. Nyakecho Annet, Member of Parliament of Tororo North County, her family members and other people. It is alleged that one of the people in detention is a lactating mother with a 1-year-old baby who has been denied access to breastfeeding and a pregnant woman who are vulnerable to poor health conditions in detention.
Security has spent over two days, allegedly breaking and searching the homes of Tumukunde and his family members both in Kampala and upcountry in search for evidence to pin the General.
Tumukunde’s fate begun after declaring his interest to contest and take on his former boss president Yoweri Kaguta Museveni in the forth coming general election and he was okayed by the Electoral commission to carry out country wide consultations as stipulated in the law.
Ugandan government has for over the time been charging most of the potential politicians who seem determined to take on him.
Tumukunde joins other politicians like Rtd. Col. Dr. Kizza Besigye, Hon. Betty Nambooze Bakireke, Hon. Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu among others, to be charged with treason related charges though courts have been dismissing these criminal charges over lack of evidence.
By publication of this story, it isn’t clear of when the suspects will be produced in courts of law.