Uganda Law Society sues Gen Tumwine
Uganda Law Society to sue Security Minister, Gen Tumwine over Safe Houses. File photo

Uganda Law Society to sue Security Minister, Gen Tumwine in courts of law over his confession that government runs Safe Houses

The Uganda Law Society (ULS) has vowed to drag the Security Minister, Gen Elly Tumwine to Court of law over confession that the government operates Safe Houses.

According to ULS president, Mr Simon Peter Kinobe Gen Tumwine should be charged individually for bleaching Security Organisations Act of 1987, after he revealed that Safe Houses exist in the country. 

“They are several! (Safe Houses) depending on the need,” Gen Tumwine.

This follows narrations of Safe House victims for many years now who talk about their arrests, detention without trial, torture in unrecognised places in the country.

Until it was recently revealed that Ugandan is mostly torture in Lwamayuba Safe House in Kalangala districts and Kyengera Safe House along Masaka road by some recent victims of the said Safe Houses including a lawyer, Patrick Mugisha.

“The functions of the said agencies are spelt out clearly, under Section 4(2) the said agencies are deterred from arresting and detaining. It’s clear! Now regardless of the circumstances, regardless of the justifications, it’s illegal! You are acting contrary to the law,” Kinobe said.

1987, Security Organisation Act, clearly states the functions of ISO, CMI, DISO, while Section 4 Clause 2 of this law, deters these agencies from arresting and detaining suspected criminals.

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Nonetheless, Kinobe is worried about the way Gen Tumwine is being handled even at this time when he is acting out of the law.

So, in his argument, those held responsible in this matter should account for his actions.

“The law is clear! Both in the Constitution and the Police Act. That people are supposed to be kept in places gazetted by law. And I think as Ugandans we need to stop messaging the issue and hold those responsible for detaining Ugandans in illegal places culpable,” Kinobe said.

Executive Director, Uganda Human Rights Commission, Dr Livingstone Ssewanyana says they are joining ULS in the mission to have the Security Minister, Gen Tumwine culpable.

He said they are ready to support any Safe House Victim who have had their rights violated.

“We are happy to join Uganda Law Society; we are happy to support any claimant who has had her or his rights abused by being subjected to a Safe House. And of course! we are happy to invoke Article 3 Sub- Section 2 of the Human Rights Enforcement Act 2019, which states very clearly that court proceedings may be instituted by (a) a person acting on behalf of another person, who cannot act in their name,” Livingstone Ssewanyana said.

The Security Organisations Act 1987 Security Organisation, Section 11, states that bleach of this law is punishable by 10 years’ imprisonment.

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So Human Rights activists want Gen Tumwine tried under the Human Rights Enforcement Act 2019.

In this regard, they call upon victims of Safe Houses to come out and file these cases.