While the government maintains it is holding no member of NUP other than those who have been produced in the military courts, party leaders maintain hundreds of their supporters are being held incommunicado.
Claims of missing persons due to related political activism are spread across the country, especially in urban centres where NUP, led by Robert Kyagulanyi Sentamu aka Bobi Wine, continues to get support.
In Fort Portal, the capital of Kabarole district, two young men remain unaccounted for after recently being arrested by police. The young supporters of Bobi Wine and NUP are siblings Asobora Jordan and Tumugonza Abraham – all residents of Rwengoma, a suburb in Fort Portal town.
Efforts by family and friends to locate to two siblings remain fruitless with local authorities – including police and the military – maintaining that the two are not in their custody, at least not in their jurisdiction.
Abasa Richard, a friend and former schoolmate of Abraham, describes the two missing persons as firebrands in NUP and becoming pivotal in the reorganization of the party.
“It is only normal that with the way things are, young men are dissenting against the regime and yearning for political change. This is what we are pushing. This is why youths like Jordan and Abraham are paying the price,” Abasa, a university dropout, stated.
Adding: “It is possible that my friends are in military detention. That is where everyone missing says he has been when he reappears. Our leader, Bobi Wine, and the party are pushing for their release. The problem is we don’t know the exact number of people detained. They arrest some today, they release others tomorrow,”
Bobi Wine and party leaders have involved Parliament and Uganda Human Rights Commission to have the regime release political prisoners have yielded no tangible result. Relatives of the missing persons have engaged the government at individual levels and still got no help.
National Unity Platform claims some supporters have been in detention since their arrest in early 2021; after the disputed presidential elections that pitied Bobi Wine against President Yoweri Museveni. The rise of Bobi Wine saw many young men and women come out to vote for change.
Despite winning the elections (NUP says it won), Museveni used the police and military to arrest hundreds of Bobi Wine supporters whom it accused of plotting to unseat a politically elected government through illegal political activism.
Since then, several youths associated with NUP have been in and out of state prisons. And as the country prepares for the 2026 presidential elections, in which Museveni and Bobi Wine are expected to face off, a crackdown on opposition politicians, supporters, and activists is expected, as the case has been in the past, even before NUP was born.