The Minister of Defense and Veteran Affairs, Adolf Mwesige has revealed that cabinet has set up a committee to investigate torture claims brought against the army meted on residents within fishing communities across the country as well as study the resolution of Parliament to suspend all operations of UPDF fisheries protection unit on major water bodies.
Mwesige made the revelation during the Tuesday’s plenary sitting in which he said that cabinet was considering Parliament’s resolutions and resolved to set up a committee chaired by Minister of State for Fisheries, Bright Rwamirama to study the resolution.
Explaining the scope of work for the Committee, Minister Mwesige said that the Cabinet Committee was also directed to study all the complaints raised against the UPDF fisheries protection unit since its inception to date and report back to the cabinet.
“Cabinet considered this resolution passed by parliament yesterday and cabinet has set up a cabinet committee which would be chaired by Minister Bright Rwamirama in order to study the resolution but also his committee has instructions to study all the complaints against UPDF Fish Protection Unit since inception in February 2017 to date,” he said.
The Minister added, “The same committee is supposed to report back first of all to cabinet and cabinet will through the office of the Leader of Government Business report back to this house on the status of implementation by Government of the parliamentary resolution.”
Parliament last year passed a resolution halting all activities of the UPDF on lakes and they have been demanding an update on the status of implementation, but UPDF defied the directive and continued to carry out their activities on water bodies amidst further complaints of torture and corruption labeled against the UPDF officers by residents in the affected areas.
Chief Opposition Whip, Ssemujju Nganda tasked the Defence Minister to deal with soldiers who he said have been in media threatening legislators over Parliament’s resolution to suspend the Fisheries Protection Unit from major water bodies.