The Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC) Chairperson, Mariam Wangadya, has revealed that the National Unity Platform (NUP) coached a Congolese woman to frame Uganda’s security forces for human rights abuse.
Wangadya made the revelation on Monday, January 8, 2024, while interfacing with the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee, where she said that a while back, she received a list of the party’s supporters that had presumably been abducted and tortured by security agencies from NUP Secretary-General Lewis Rubongoya.
She highlighted that on the list of victims was a woman of Congolese origin who had been christened Greek names, Alexandros Marinos, who alleged that she had been gang-raped by men in security gear for blazing NUP President Robert Kyagulanyi’s music.
“First of all, to get a statement from her was very difficult. She was always accompanied by at least three firms of lawyers who were men. We thought we would talk to her as a woman, but eventually we managed to speak to her,” she narrated.
Wangadya added that “we discovered that she was not Greek; she is actually a Congolese refugee who had been promised a sum of money and a visa to Belgium to falsely accuse the army of gang rape.”
Wangadya further revealed that during subsequent investigations, it was discovered that several victims who had been presented as NUP supporters were in fact not politically affiliated with any party and had been arrested for other felonies.
“Out of the 30, twelve of them were out on bail; others were out on police bond for some very serious crimes like terrorism, malicious damage to public property, and vandalism of wires. So when we reached them, they were so surprised that they appeared on that list of missing people, yet they lived in their homes,” she intimated.
Consistent with Wangadya’s revelation, a 311-page report signed by Internal affairs minister Maj. Gen. (rtd) Kahinda Otafiire, that was presented by Gen. David Muhoozi to parliament in November 2023 about alleged missing NUP supporters, established that the alleged missing persons have never been reported to the Police and some were fictitious.
Acocrding to Gen Muhoozi, the government is aware that the opposition is using a smear campaign against President Yoweri Museveni’s administration before the international community and such allegations of missing persons are key factors.
Wangadya’s revelation exposes the depth of NUP’s mudslinging campaign, which was launched as part of the party’s strategy to make the reigning government unpopular among the locals and the international community.