Uganda: Mpuuga Calls for Inquests Act to Address Unanswered Questions Regarding Murders, Deaths of Ugandans
With many unanswered questions regarding the murders and deaths of many Ugandans that have occurred over the years, the Leader of the Opposition Mathias Mpuuga is calling for invocation of the Inquests Act to resolve these issues.
An inquest is supposed to be held whenever the coroner is credibly informed that a person has died within his or her jurisdiction and that there is reasonable cause to suspect that the person has died a violent or unnatural death or that the person has died in prison, or in police custody or while confined in any lockup or mental home.
An inquest is also held if a person has died as a result of road traffic or an industrial accident. The coroner may also order the exhumation of a body or may prohibit the burial or cremation of a body within his or her jurisdiction.
A person who inquires into such a death is referred to as a coroner and a legal inquiry into a death is technically referred to as an inquest. Amongst the Laws of Uganda is the Inquests Act, the date of commencement being August 31, 1935
Mpuuga said the assassination of the late Minister Charles Okello Engola, especially by his bodyguard has sent shockwaves much further than the people of Uganda can attempt to unpack, at least for now.
He said the murder Engola calls for a candid conversation on the quality of inquest in this country.
“With many unanswered questions that ought to be exhaustively interrogated here, it’s time we invoked the Inquests Act for this and the many unresolved murders and deaths that have occurred over the years,” he said.
“The Police should this time round and for once, surprise the nation with a conclusive and believable report on the murder of our colleague,” he added.
Mpuuga made the remarks as Parliament paid tribute to the late Charles Engola, former state Minister for Labour, Employment and Industrial Relations and Member of Parliament, Oyam North.
Mpuuga said that Parliament’s sitting reminded him of a similar sitting they had in the 10th Parliament following the murder of Ibrahim Abiriga and his bodyguard in June 2018.
“The invitation I am making to this August House is that we should not close our minds to the various murders of ordinary and high profile Ugandans like the late Joan Kagezi, AIGP Andrew Felix Kaweesi, Muslim clerics among others that we have witnessed since 2016,”he said.
He reminded MPs about President Museveni’s address to Parliament on June 20, 2018 in which he outlined a nine point-strategy intended to “defeat” the insecurity in the country.
Mpuuga singled out Museveni’s directive to install security cameras across the country, and the fingerprinting of all legal guns in the country.
Mpuuga said the directives were followed with a supplementary budget allocation of more than Shs 376 billion but unfortunately, the killings did not stop nor have the cameras been effective in detecting the criminals.
He said this explains why the state has not succeeded in prosecuting any of the cases in court.
“Strangely, even cases that have happened under the cameras like the one of February 2020 when a police truck deliberately knocked dead Ritah Nabukenya, were not captured. Are these real cameras or dummies?” he queried.
“And the Police have returned with another request of Shs 187 billion for next financial year to buy more of these malfunction cameras,” he added.
He wondered if all guns were fingerprinted as indicated by the security budget requests, whose gun is being used to kill Ugandans.