As his first gesture to embracing reconciliation and dialogue, NRM party chairman, President Yoweri Museveni has asked that government releases more than 50 suspects that were recently arrested in connection with violence that marred the January 2021 General Election. Mr Museveni made the pronouncement while speaking at the Inter Party Organisarion for Dialogue (IPOD) summit in Kololo, Kampala on Friday.
The President’s remarks followed the closing of the Summit which he convened in his capacity as the summit chairman. Museveni said the arrests were one of the issues that were raised in the Summit attended by Uganda People’s Congress-UPC president Jimmy Akena and Democratic Party-DP president General Norbert Mao.
According to Museveni the arrested people, upon being released unconditionally, will also be helped to settle. In his arguments the President noted that the suspects, who are mainly youth, were misled by elements whose interests were to distabilise the country and disrupt the election process, something the commander in chief has on several occasions refered to as a miscalculation.
He also added that when he announced that government will release people arrested during the November 2020 protest and review files of those already taken to court. President Museveni revealed that the people who were arrested have helped government to learn more about the plans of their leaders whom he referred to as “mis-calculators”.
On 18th and 19th November 2020, protests erupted in different parts of the country following the arrest of Presidential Candidate Robert Kyagulanyi of the National Unity Platform-NUP in Luuka district during a campaign trail.At least 54 people were killed and hundreds arrested.
Museveni says the protests were a result of “mis-calculators” who might have thought that their attacks on members of the NRM would scare people from voting and that probably the NRM government would collapse.
Responding to calls from religious leaders to dialogue and reconcile with those opposed to his government, Me Museveni in January, soon after the elections, stated that reconciliation was one of the tenets on which the NRM government is built. He pointed out several leaders currently serving with him in government who were previously against him, some, like the current Deputy prime Minister Moses Ali, who had taken up arms to overthrow the NRM regime.