In remembrance of Dr. Andrew Kayira and the possible plot of the NRA to assassinate him on the 6th of March 1987
Today it has been 29 years since the assassination of Dr. Andrew Kayira, the former rebel and government minister at his time. He even had an alliance with the NRA then military rebel-group of President Museveni and at one point even helped with his rebel-group attacking central barracks and taking weapons from the governmental forces of the then Obote II government. At one point he even had an alliance with Col. Gaddafi of Libiya who sent weapons from Burundi through Rwanda to both NRA and the UFM rebel groups to regain more support in Sub-Saharan Africa. This here is telling a story of why he possibly was killed, by who and some insights into the reports. Also the way the newly NRM tried to shut-up media who covered it after the coup d’état in 1986 when they controlled the media and wouldn’t release the information in 1988 when articles came out for the first time about the assassination of Dr. Kayira. Here take a look!
Report from 1983:
“the Ugandan Freedom Movement (UFM) led by Andrew Kayira, a minster in the short-lived Lule government which succeeded Amin, and member of the opposition Democratic Party’s militant, unconstitutional wing” (…)”Kampala is now relatively quiet and secure, and the UFM leader Andrew Kayira is reported to have left the country” (Crisp, 1983).
Treason Charge on the 8th March 1987:
“Former Energy Minister Andrew Kayira was killed by gunmen, some of whom were wearing army uniforms. He was acquitted two weeks ago of charges of treason. Journalist Henry Gombya said the men, armed with knives and guns, came to his house Friday night. Kayira had been living there since his release. Gombya said he hid in the bush and his wife and three children locked themselves in a bathroom. Kayira tried to hide in a bedroom but was found and shot in the head, arms and thighs, the journal ist said. Kayira, who was named energy minister last year, was arrested five months ago with 25 other prominent people. They allegedly were involved in a conspiracy to overthrow the government of President Yoweri Museveni” (Orlando Sentinel, 1987).
Museveni ordered it:
“It is believed that he ordered the assassination of Kayiira. Kayiira was killed in March 1987, and his movement began to fall apart soon thereafter. As director of military intelligence, Kagame would have supervised the assassination plan; certainly, say Ugandan, it could not have occurred without his imprimatur also” (De Hoyes, 1997).
What was the Pre-Text for the assassination of Dr. Kayira:
“Despite Kayira’s integration into the NRA and his subsequent appointment as Minister, it seems the NRA Government mistrusted him, resulting in his eventual arrest in October 1986. He was accused of treason for allegedly plotting to overthrow the Government of President Museveni, though he was acquitted and released by court on February 24, 1987. On 9 March 1987, Kayira was assassinated by unknown gunmen. After his death, his followers disintegrated. Some went into exile, others were integrated into NRA, while others deserted” (Refugee Law Project, 2014).
What the Scotland Yard Report says happen:
“On 6th March, 1987, at about llp.m. Dr Kayira and his friend, Mr, Henry Gombya, a B.B.C stringer, were having dinner with Gombya’s wife Victoria Naava ,24 , and three other girls Josephine Babirye, 19, Julian Nabwire, 14, and Annet Namatovu, 23, when about 10 armed men stormed the compound and attacked the persons present” (Scotland Yard).
Witness report from Scotland Yard:
“According to Gombya, whilst the attackers were shouting at the occupants and kicking the door/ he in panic split Shs40 million which he had in his bedroom into two halves and threw Shs20 million into the banana plantation from the balcony leading from his room and left the remaining money in the bed for the suspects to steal. He then jumped from the balcony/ a height of 12 feet and ran down the driveway and on the second attempt managed to climb over the gate. He then hid in a banana plantation” (…)“Whilst this was happening the attackers were shouting to Dr Kayiira to open his bedroom door, which he did at the same time asking them what they wanted. Witnesses’ state that when Gombya escaped and was running towards the gates he was seen by one of the gunmen who raised the alarm and was told not to pursue him as the “UFM man” was in the house. This would suggest that the gunmen knew that Dr Kayiira was staying at the house” (…)”Police were eventually notified at Kabalagala Police Post some two miles away and arrived shortly after 7:30am. A photographer and scenes of Crime Officer arrived soon afterwards. Scenes of Crime examination was always going to be difficult as prior to police arrival villagers and other persons from the surrounding areas had descended onto the premises and went inside the house to satisfy their curiosity, and pay their respects” (Scotland Yard).
“Investigations by the Kampala C.I.D under the direction of Simon Mugamba (Director of C.I.D) and Senior superintendent Fideiis Ongom (Officer in charge) commenced and quickly established that Gombya had requested from Mr Henry Kateregga, a Kampala businessman Shs40 million very urgently” (…)”As a result of their investigations the police were contacted by a man named Emmanuel Sebbunza, 17, who informed police that he had been involved with the people responsible for the killing of Dr Kayiira and although not at scene at the time of the offence, he assisted them in its preparation” (…)”He further stated that he had been paid money for both his assistance and to keep quiet about who took part. He states that the motive was robbery as the persons involved in the offence knew that Dr Kayiira was at the house and further that a large amount of money was in the house. He states however that it was believed that Dr Kayiira had the money. Mr Sebbunza further stated that arrangements for the offence were made at the shop of Muzeyi & Sons, Kampala, belonging to Mr John Katabazi, 28” (Scotland Yard).
Museveni action after the takeover of power:
“On Thursday 26th March 1987, at the request of President Museveni-the Ugandan President I (Detective Chief superintendent Thompson) attached to the serious crimes Branch New Scotland Yard, together with Detective Inspector Sanderson, scenes of crime officer attached to the Metropolitan Police Laboratory travelled to Uganda to assist the investigating officers because of the strong suggestions that the murder of Dr Kayiira was a ‘political’ one” (Scotland Yard).
“The majority of the attackers were dressed in NRA uniforms while others were dressed locally. Suspicion immediately fell on NRA soldiers when on the Saturday morning as hundreds of people were flocking my house to view the body of Kayiira which was still lying in a pool of blood in his bedroom” (…)”I told commander Kazoora that in my view, those who had killed Kayiira were likely to have been government enemies. I further told him, “If these people now return and shoot me dead, the government would find it quite difficult to prove it was not behind my death.” (…)”Mr Ssemogerere expressed surprise that “anyone would suggest that I was involved in the killing of your friend”. As he put it, on that day when Dr Kayiira was killed Mr Ssemogerere was the only Cabinet minister who came to my house and saw Dr Kayiira’s body lying in a pool of blood” (…)”The arguments went on almost the whole night until I finally made up my mind that the safest way for me would be the airport. I reached this decision for mainly one fact, Earlier in the day I had contacted my BBC colleague in Nairobi Mike Wooldridge whom I told about my fears concerning my safety. I told Mike that I had received information from the Uganda CID that I would be arrested as a murder suspect” (…)”He found this difficult to believe until I told him I had been to Mr Ssemogerere’s house to brief him about this new development. It was then that Mike volunteered to call Dr Besigye and find out from him whether I would really be arrested” (…)”The answer he got from Dr Besigye was; I want to assure the BBC and Henry that we have no intention of arresting him nor have we even suggested he be suspected In any way in this killing”. Dr. Besigye further told Mike Wooldridge that I was free to go anywhere but added “He may be needed to give evidence” (…)”Mr Wooldridge replied that since Dr Besigye had assured me I was not wanted he did not see any reason why I should not rest. Mike agreed with me that it would look like as if I was running away if I did not use the airport. Since in my heart I knew I was quite an innocent man who had just lost a great friend I did not see why I should try to leave the country as a criminal. My decision took everybody present by surprise!” (…)”But soon after my first interview the Uganda Foreign Affairs Minister Mr Ibrahim Mukiibi called the British High Commissioner in Kampala Mr Derek March to protest at what he called “the way your deputy helped a Ugandan journalist Henry Gombya to escape from Kampala”.Mr Mukiibi further told the British High Commissioner that I was “wanted” back in Uganda in “connection” with the killing of Dr Kayiira” (…)”The Investigating team also received evidence from some NRA soldiers from the 19th Battalion in Lubiri barracks which points to involvement of top NRA leadership and its lieutenants in the murder. According to these soldiers/ the murder of Dr Kayiira was planned days before his release. When the Directors of public prosecution (DPP) and CID jointly told government that there was no evidence to incriminate Dr Kayiira and several of co-accused in the alleged plot of treason this brief was received with a lot of reservations” (Scotland Yard).
“There was also no evidence that Dr Kayiira put up any resistance. In addition, Gombya who was the owner of the money and other property in the house was not the prime target as he was ignored by the attackers when escaping. On the strength of the evidence the motive of the attackers was very clear: they wanted to kill Dr Andrew Kayiira. This gives credence to the 2nd hypothesis” (Scotland Yard).
“Despite President Museveni’s friendship with Dr Kayiira there had been recent mistrust of him by the President as a result of which Dr Kayiira was arrested in October 1986 for alleged;y ploting against the government, and subsequently releases by the court on February 24, 1987, due to lack of evidence” (…)”The release of Dr Kayiira surprised somee people and the subsequent murder of Kayiira led to strong rumours that his death was politically motivated and had been caused by the government’s hand” (…)”It was because of the above facts and the political overtones that the subsequent murder of Dr Kayiira was quickly seized on by various factions to suggest that his death was not only politically motivated, but might even have been carried out by President Museveni’s soldiers on the President’s orders. This charge is emphatically denied by the President” (Scotland Yard).
“It seems a British police report has been doctored to make it seem like I am a suspect or somehow involved,” said Mr Gombya, who fled Uganda after the killing and now lives in Farnborough, Hampshire. “Who carried out the shooting? I don’t know. Who ordered it? I believe it was President Museveni, and I’m not afraid to say it … I’m the fall guy.” (…)”There was speculation [at the time] about whether it was a politically motivated murder or a criminal attack,” said Peter Penfold yesterday. He was a diplomat at the British high commission in 1987. “I suppose both scenarios were plausible.” (Lewis, 2007).
I hope that gave some insights to the matter and that the truth will hopefully come out one day and that the men behind the killing of this man will get their punishment has he died for political reasons. This here is just one of many, still important as there been many killings and many assassinations under the NRM-Regime and their NRA. This one is significant as this was a way of getting rid of opposition forces and solidifies the regime after the civil war. Peace.
Crisp, Jeff – ‘National Security, Human Rights and Population Displacements in Uganda with special reference to events in Luwero District, Jan – Sept. 1983’ (October 1983) – British Refugee Council
De Hoyes, Linda – ‘Why London supports Rwanda’s confessed mass killer Paul Kagame’ (05.12.1997) – EIR News Service
Lewis, Paul – ‘I’m the fall guy for Ugandan murder, says ex-BBC man’ (20.01.2007) link: http://www.theguardian.com/media/2007/jan/20/bbc.uganda
Refugee Law Project – ‘COMPENDIUM OF CONFLICTS IN UGANDA – Findings of the National Reconciliation and Transitional Justice Audit’ (2014) – Makerere University
Orlando Sentinel – ‘Treason Charge: Former Energy Minister Andrew Kayira was…’ (08.03.1987) link: http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/1987-03-08/news/0110340050_1_treason-overthrow-the-government-arms-and-thighs
Scotland Yard – ‘SCOTLAND YARD REPORT THE MURDER OF DR ANDREW LUTAAKOME KAYIIRA: DEMOCRATIC PARTY VERSION’