The chairman of Uganda’s Law Society has called on President Yoweri Museveni’s government to investigate and prosecute the “Kiboko militia” after accusing the group of terrorizing Ugandans.
Bruce Kyerere said his Law Society Group is considering filing a lawsuit against the government if the administration fails to find the perpetrators behind the group.
“The public has been terrorized by a group infamously known as the Kiboko squad, which is a kind of militia vigilante group, and, its action has been deemed illegal. And, we are calling upon the government of Uganda to take immediate steps and investigate its origin, the people behind it, and the perpetuators of its illegal activities. We will like the government to identify who they are, arrest them and prosecute them for terrorizing the public,” Kyerere said.
This comes after the Kiboko militia group violently broke up a recent protest march in which scores of unarmed protesters were severely injured.
The march was against President Museveni’s reappointment of the chairman and members of the electoral commission tasked with organizing Uganda’s presidential election early next year.
Kyerere said President Museveni’s government is constitutionally mandated to protect Ugandans.
“Our concern is that, it is the duty of government to investigate and establish who this group is. If they are denying that they are not behind their action, and then let them demonstrate their commitment to protecting the citizens of Uganda by launching an immediate and comprehensive investigation that is aimed at establishing who this group is,” Kyerere said.
Several groups, including a coalition of opposition political parties known as the Inter-Party Cooperation accused the government of using the militia group to intimidate and harass dissenting opponents ahead of next year’s general elections.
The opposition coalition includes the Forum for Democratic Change, Uganda People’s Congress, Conservative Party, the Justice Forum and the Social Democratic Party.
The government has denied any links to the violent militia group, vowing to soon launch an investigation into the group’s activities.
But chairman Kyerere said the delay in government’s decision to investigate the group is worrisome.
“The minister of internal affairs has already declared that the government will take it up and establish who these people are. But, should they sit back and do nothing, then we’ve got several options; one of them is to engage every government institution and agency that is in charge of keeping law and order as well as those in the observance of the rule of law to make sure that we get to the bottom of this issue,” Kyerere said.
Officials of the Ugandan government were not immediately available for comments despite repeated attempts.