"If they did anything wrong, why should they be hidden and not tried?”
KAMPALA - The Police have denied holding members of opposition party Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) who allegedly went missing last week.
This follows the reported disappearance of three party members from different places. FDC officials claim they were arrested by police and detained at unknown places.
The party's deputy secretary general, Harold Kaija identified the members as Francis Busulwa, a resident of Kyengera, Samuel Kizito, a resident of Kyanja in Kawempe and Babi Kahemba who resides Mengo in Rubaga division.
Kaija said they were picked on streets on different days and have since then disappeared.
"We do not know where they are to-date. But when we asked the residents in different areas, they told us they had been arrested by police. That's why we want police to produce them in court if they have any case to answer," he said.
He disclosed this while addressing journalists at the party's weekly press briefing at their headquarters in Najjanankumbi.
Kaija said the FDC party respects the rule of law but wondered why their people continue to be arrested clandestinely if they have cases.
"But what is worrying us is that we cannot locate them. If they did anything wrong, why should they be hidden and not tried?" he asked.
However, when contacted over the matter, police spokesperson Fred Enanga told New Vision that he had consulted several police stations in and around Kampala but they had no member of FDC in custody.
"Apart from the party leaders we are holding on charges of treason, we have not made any other arrest for the past two weeks," he explained.
Enanga asked the FDC party to come out with a list of those who they claim were arrested and where they say are detained for police to take action.
"But how do they expect us to help them when they even do not report?" he wondered.
Kaija said such actions that curtail the democratic right of Ugandans may cause fear among citizens especially when the country has just come out of elections.
He said this can also force people to resort to violence to defend their rights.
"This trend of abduction, kidnap and mass arrests of our members makes us to think otherwise on the results of the concluded 2016 presidential elections," he said.
Kaija said they hold the Police responsible for the disappearance of their members because they have the duty of protecting citizens of Uganda.
The vice chairman FDC youth league, central region, Walid Lubega asked to desist from being partisan.
Lubega called upon the local and international human rights bodies to inspect the state of some detentions such as Nalufenya prisons to establish if they meet the basic standards of holding political prisoners.