Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Uganda govt trains militias to harass them - opposition

09 September 2015, 09:10

Kampala - Uganda's opposition and rights groups on Tuesday accused President Yoweri Museveni's government of training militias to intimidate opposition supporters during next year's elections, a claim denied by the government.

In recent weeks, Ugandan police have been training thousands of civilian youths across the country as "crime preventers" to help with intelligence gathering and security among the local population.

Shaban Bantariza, deputy government spokesperson, said the young men being trained were part of community policing efforts, adding: "There's no militia either existing or being trained anywhere in Uganda".

But the opposition fears the newly-trained contingents could be used to prop up veteran leader Museveni, who is seeking another five-year term in the polls due to be held between February and March 2016.

"Museveni wants to use these militias as a weapon of terror to coerce opposition people into submission," opposition legislator Medard Lubega Sseggona told Reuters. "Whenever Museveni feels threatened he resorts to violence."

Nicholas Opio, executive director of the Chapter Four group that champions civil liberties, said Museveni was creating a civilian "parallel force" that has no hierarchy or clear command to be used in elections.

"They can commit crimes and they can't attributed to the government," he added.

Last month, NTV Uganda local television carried a report in which retired major and presidential advisor Kakoza Mutale was shown training hundreds of youths at a camp in central Uganda.

Mutale said in the report the youths would ensure Museveni wins in the coming election.

Spokesperson Bantariza dismissed the opposition accusations as unwarranted but added the government was investigating the group allegedly being trained by Mutale.

"If we find Mutale has violated any laws, he will be brought to book," he said.

The Ugandan opposition frequently complains about intimidation by the police and security agencies, something the government strongly denies.

Analysts say Museveni was likely to face a tough challenge at the 2016 polls from his former prime minister, Amama Mbabazi, who was sacked last year amidst a power struggle with Museveni in the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party.

Kizza Besigye, who has stood and lost the previous three elections against Museveni, also plans to contest the presidential poll for the fourth time.

- Reuters


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Wilwon Ochieng
Deputy Governor's ally found with...

The EACC has recovered KES 2 million in fake currency from a close ally of Deputy Governor for Tharaka Nithi Eliud Mati. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
Mudavadi given permission to join...

Musalia Mudavadi has been ghranted permission by his party to join the CORD Coalition. Read more...

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
EACC officers raid Deputy Governo...

EACC officers raided the home of a Deputy Governor as theft case continues in court. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
New IEBC bosses to be named Novem...

New IEBC bosses will be named on November 30. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
DP Ruto has spoilt my name, activ...

DP William Ruto has spoilt my name, activist complains. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
Apologise for attack on Auditor G...

Apologise for attack on Auditor General, President Uhuru Kenyatta is told by Kisumu Senator Anyang Nyong'o. Read more...