Fort Portal Catholic Bishop urges gov’t to end abductions of Ugandans

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Bishop Robert Muhiirwa of Fort Portal Catholic Diocese has called upon the government to ensure an end to abductions in the country.

Muhiirwa made the call during a press conference at his residence in Fort Portal Tourism City on Saturday where he was delivering his Easter message to the faithful.

The Bishop noted that the abductions conducted using “numberless so-called drones”, which have led to disappearance of hundreds of people, are causing fear and uneasiness among the nationals and they should be stopped.

He also said that some people have disappeared and their families have never heard from them or anyone claiming to know their whereabouts, adding that the government should come out and give an explanation. 

The period towards and after the concluded 2021 general elections in Uganda has been characterized by disappearance of many people whose families say they were abducted. Most of the people who have disappeared were known to be supporters of National Unity Platform – NUP that is led by former presidential candidate, Robert Kyagulanyi.

In most of the incidents, the abductions are by plain clothed men that are suspected to be from security agencies. They normally travel in numberless Toyota Hiaces that are also infamously known as Drones, and they pick the victims from their homes, along the road and at times from their places of work.

Media reports indicate that some of the abducted people end up being severely tortured and maimed.   In Fort Portal, the latest incident was last month, when an American national, Guy Smith, was abducted in the wee hours of March 21 from his home in Kitumba ward in Central Division.  

The police spokesperson, Fred Enanga, later confirmed that a team from Special Investigations Division in Kireka, Kampala arrested Smith who was aged 62 years.   He explained that Smith was arrested for allegedly being involved in anti-government subversive activities against Uganda.

Even though the Minister of Internal Affairs, Jeje Odongo recently released a list of 177 people whom he said were being investigated for a number of crimes, NUP insists that hundreds  of its members were not on the list and are still unaccounted for. 

Meanwhile, Muhiirwa has also urged Christians to remain faithful and trust in God, saying that the resurrection of Jesus shows that they can also win any challenges in their lives.