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Carpenters at Makerere Kavule stage in Kawempe Division have complained about the rampant arrests and abduction of their members by suspected state operatives ahead of the presidential elections.
They claim that unidentified security operatives have picked up more than 10 of their members from their homes over the past two weeks. According to the carpenters, four of their colleagues including Elias Musagala, Shafick Zibula, Kabiswa and Kavuma were picked up from their homes on December 30, 2020.
The carpenters were reportedly tortured and warned to stop supporting National Unity Platform political before they were released. Ronald Mukasa, who owns a workshop that makes beds, says unknown people abducted his son Shafick Kibalama on January 5, 2021. He says the kidnappers called his son for business at Ham towers in the city center and he left around 11 am never to return.
According to Mukasa, some people trailed his son for some time for donning red clothes after receiving several warnings from police and soldiers at the workshop.
Wandegay police arrested three more carpenters during a daytime operation on January 9, 2021. They are Amidu Ssalongo, Rashid Tamale and Sunday Mubiru.
Mubiru told URN that they were picked up and locked up at Wandegeya police station. He accuses Sharifu Kaketo, a security informer for masterminding their harassment and continued arrests.
Ibrahim Mukibi, who escaped an attack at night, says that the threats started during the November 18, 2020 city riots when one of their colleagues known as Isaac Amantu was killed by stray bullets. He says Amantu’s death angered them prompting them to insult police officers who came to pick his body.
According to Mukibi, from that time unknown people have made several attempts to arrest him but they haven’t got him. “I have been getting calls from people I don’t know. They threaten to end my life for supporting and loving people power. I only pray the elections to come to an end maybe I can be free again,” the distressed Ibrahim told URN.
The Kampala Metropolitan Police spokesperson, Patrick Onyango has advised the carpenters to report the threats to police for investigations.
Several people have been reported missing from various parts of Kampala Metropolitan areas since the November 18-19th protests that rocked Kampala and Wakiso districts as a result of the arrest of NUP’s presidential candidate, Robert Kagulanyi.