Otunnu Challenges Museveni On Mysterious Deaths While Answering "Defamation"

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UPC Party Chief Otunnu

[Op-Ed]

UPC, president, Mr. Olara Otunnu, will appear in Buganda Road court today at 9:00 a.m. to answer two  criminal charges brought against him by the Museveni regime.

The first criminal charge is that, in his new year address to the country in January, Otunnu defamed General Yoweri K. Museveni. The second criminal charge is that he refused to report to CID headquarters for interrogation, following summons by the regime.

In the New Year address, Otunnu pointed out several major episodes of atrocities and crimes at times when General Museveni was the person with overall command and authority over men and women in uniform under him. These episodes include: atrocities in Luwero while General Museveni commanded an insurgent force between 1981 and 1986; the massacres of Muslims in Ankole in 1979, when General Museveni was commander of the Western Axis of anti-Amin forces, composed mainly of his FRONASA contingent; the massacre at Ombaci, in West Nile, in 1981;  the scorched-earth counter-insurgency operations and genocide in northern and eastern Uganda between 1986 and 2006; and the wanton killing of unarmed demonstrators on the streets of Kampala, in September 2009.

The UPC president also pointed out that a lot of disappearances and mysterious deaths have occurred under General Museveni’s watch and authority. Among unexplained disappearances and deaths cited by Otunnu are those of Mwesigwa Black, UPC youth leader, Rait Omongin; DP leader Ginyakol (FRONASA); Noble Mayombo; Andrew Kayiira, and Francis Ayume.

Soon after the New Year address, the Attorney General, acting for General   Museveni, wrote to the UPC president giving him five days to make a public apology for his remarks or face legal action. Otunnu has refused to make any apologies for his statement. At a press conference, the UPC leader explained that he would not report to police headquarters for interrogation, but would be ready to appear before a court of law to answer any charges against him.

Commenting on the charges against him, Otunnu has stated “I stand by everything I have said concerning Museveni’s heavy footprints in these episodes of atrocities and mysterious deaths and disappearances. In truth, rather than me, it is precisely Museveni who should be on trial. Museveni must explain to the people of Uganda and the international community, his role and footprints in these dark episodes, spanning well over three decades”.

The UPC leader has said that he is determined to press for this as part of a much-needed national process of truth-telling and accountability. He has argued that this is absolutely necessary for genuine reconciliation among Ugandans.

Lucima is the UPC Spokesperson

okello.lucima@gmail.com ; Tel: 0757190157 

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