The Acholi Parliamentary Group has accused the leadership of the National Unity Platform of masterminding protests in the USA against the Speaker of Parliament Jacob Oulanyah, who was rushed there to seek medical treatment.
Addressing the press at Parliament on February 9, 2022, the MPs condemned demonstrations by some Ugandans in the United States against the treatment of the Speaker abroad, saying it was inhuman and in itself a violation of human rights.
Kilak North MP, Anthony Akol emphasized the need for NUP leadership to distance itself from the protestors who are against a Ugandan leader being treated abroad.
“As chairman of the Acholi Parliamentary Group, I demand an apology from this group, many Ugandans have been taken abroad for treatment and there have not been any demonstrations,” Akol said.
The members also clarified their attendance of the plenary sitting against an opposition decision to boycott. They explained that they had key issues of their constituencies that needed to be addressed on the floor of Parliament.
Among the reasons highlighted by the members included, the need to hear an update about the health condition of Oulanyah who received treatment abroad, the matter of the longstanding land conflict between the districts of Apaa and Amuru and the issue of cattle rustling in Acholi.
“We had three issues which were very key, first the issues of Apaa, second the issue of the health of the Speaker and thirdly the issue of cattle rustlers, I communicated to our members that we should be in the House, unfortunately, I saw an attack on me even after we consulted the Leader of Opposition,” Akol added.
Akol said that it was unfair for them to be accused of condoning torture, and yet they were representatives of their different constituencies.
The Opposition last week announced a boycott over torture and arbitrary arrests, citing the detention and torture of lawmakers Muhammad Ssegirinya of Kawempe North and Allan Ssewanyana, the Makindye West MP.
The remarks by Akol follow a message by the Leader of Opposition Mathias Mpuuga accusing Akol of going against the opposition decision of boycotting the House.
Bardege-Layibi division MP, Martin Ojara Mapenduzi emphasized their support for all efforts to condemn torture and abuse of Human Rights. He, however, challenged the Mpuuga to take leadership and call his troops to order where mistakes arise.
Amuru District Woman MP, Lucy Akello said that matters of their constituencies come first, adding that they agreed with the opposition, but simply prioritized their constituency’s concerns.
She, however, reiterated their support for all efforts by the Opposition to condemn and protest torture and abuse of Human Rights.