“Until today Kasenyi trading center in Buhohera Sub County which was the center of clashes last week between residents and security agencies remains deserted with no business going on. But families of those suspected to have aided security agencies in giving leads which culminated in shooting four people to death live in fear with some of their property destroyed. Police say they will stay in the area to maintain peace” (NBS TV Uganda, 2016).
“Obusinga bwa Rwenzururu , the cultural institution thrust into the limelight after clashes on the 10th and 11th of March in Kasese district has distanced itself from the violence. The Kingdom’s Prime Minister Thembo Kitsumbire instead claimed a smear campaign against the cultural institution. Kitsumbire’s comments come a day after the Inspector General of Police Kale Kayihura said four attackers were members of the a militia group linked to the cultural institution” (NTV Uganda, 2016).
Rwenzori Fraternity clip:
“The Rwenzururu kingdom has admitted that the youths who engaged the UPDF in a cross fire in which four were killed were part of their unofficial guards. The kingdom however denies any association with the “kirumamutima” youths saying the Inspector General of police should explain circumstances under which a pre deployment assessment mission was carried out in kasenyi and yet there was no violence at the time” (NBS TV Uganda, 2016)
“A tale of the kasese killings, from an eye witness’s account, was a story of friends trying to save a colleague from arrests only to end up losing their lives The family of the late James Wayekwa one of the men who were shot dead in the Friday clashes with police in Kasenyi village in Kasese district narrates how the 34 year old met his death.
They have denied Gen Kale kayihura’s claims that the late belonged to a militia Kirumiramutima which is linked to the Obusinga bwa Rwenzururu” (NBS TV Uganda, 2016).
This statement is to give information in connection with recent incidents of violence in Kasese and Bundibugyo districts given the distorted, and manipulated messages being sent out, especially on social media.
Let me begin by congratulating the people of Uganda for generally peaceful and successful election, namely presidential and parliamentary elections on 18th February 2016, The LCV Elections on 24th February 2016, the mayoral elections on 2nd March 2016 and the LC III chairperson on 9th March 2016. In particular, I wish on behalf of the police and the sister security agencies to thank you for the support you gave us to ensure that the country is safe and secure. The valuable contribution of the crime preventers in effectively implementing “Neighborhood Watch”, where neighborhoods and villages where security forces could effectively deploy is greatly appreciated.
Having said the above, however, there were isolated case incidents of violence here and there in some parts of the country but which we were able to handle and minimize damage to life and property, keep public order and ensure that the country is safe and secure. In this context let me focus on incidents in the Rwenzori sub-region.
After the February 24th LC5 elections, there were clashes resulting from dissatisfaction by some candidates and their supporters. the violence started in Busengerwa village of Busaru sub county where one person was shot dead by a former UPDF guide, called Museveni Bonifance, alias Bhangi, which led to retaliatory attacks in Busaru, Ngamba and Kirumya sub counties, leaving 15 Civilians dead and 04 others injured, 139 houses were also set ablaze. Following the incidents, eighty suspects were charged with murder in the high court sitting in Fort Portal on 11th March 2016 and subsequently remanded. Bhangi, the killer that started it all was arrested last night in Busaru sub County, Bundibugyo District. Hunt for other suspects, and the investigations continue.
Let me commend the joint security forces for acting swiftly and preventing the violence from spreading and ensuring security in Bundibugyo District.
On the night of 10th March2016, at 8pm, the day after the elections of LC III Chairpersons, a joint motorized patrol of Police and UPDF, while patrolling lower Kendahi cell, Kikongo ward, Hima Town Council, was attacked by over 30 persons armed with machetes, knives and clubs. 04 soldiers were injured, two of them critically, and the attackers tried to grab their guns. In self-defense, the patrol opened fire on the attackers, instantly killing two of them, and forcing the rest of them to flee. The injured soldiers are Cpl Ssentongo Matia, L/Cpl Rwot Owengeyo, L/Cpl Katuramu Hannington, and L/Cpl Otube Moses. They were rushed to Kilembe Hospital for first aid and the following day, they were referred to UPDF 2nd division Hospital in Mbarara. Two are still in critical condition.
Later the same night, at about 9:00pm, a group of arsonists torched a house of one Kamanyire Ali. Kamanyire is a known supporter of one Tom Wabukombi, who was one of the candidates but lost in LC III elections in Hima Town Council, but his tenants are said to have supported his rival candidate John Katuura, who won the elections.
Following this incident the RPC Rwenzori East informed of the situation and requested for reinforcements. I sent a team of Field Force Unit under the command of Commissioner of Police (CP) Opolot Jacob.
On 11th March 2016, at around 1:00pm, a team of Police UPDF officers led by CP Opoloto Jacob, while on a pre-deployment assessment mission in Kasenyi village, Buhurira Sub County, was attacked by a group of about 20 youths, armed with machetes, knives and clubs. They stabbed SPC Mbusa Joel, critically injuring and disarming him of hid firearm. They also stoned CP Opolot Jacob fracturing his right leg.
The security team fired shots in the air to scare them but the attackers were nit, and in fact became even more aggressive. In self-defense, the team opened fire killing 4 attackers, and recovering the gun that had been taken from SPC Mbusa Joel. CP Opoloto Jacob and SPC Mbusa Joel were rushed to Kilembe Hospital. We are transferring them to Mulago Hospital for further medical treatment.
The attackers who were killed are Kake Ezekiel, Bwambale Sajin, Wayakwa James and Kirerembwa Jokas. What is common to them is that they were members of a militia group linked to Obusinga bwa Rwenzururu cultural institution, calling themselves “Kirumiramutima” (strong-hearted). It should be noted that the Omusinga wa Rwenzururu has got official Royal guards given to him by, and based on agreement with Government. Three suspects connected with the attack have so far been arrested and are helping the Police with Investigations.
Furthermore, on the morning of yesterday Saturday 13th March 2016, unknown people set ablaze the house of the GISO of Kyabarunga Sub County in Kasenyi village as well as houses of eight other persons, who are his relatives. They also torched a butchery and a drug shop in the same area. We have information that criminal gangs are being incited to target GISOs and Crime Preventers and their properties in Kasese District.
It should be noted that prior to the 2016 LC III Elections on 9th March 2016, there were widespread threats and intimidation not only in Kasese district, but throughout the sub region against voting for certain candidates. We are investigating reports in the case of Hima Town Council that if the elections go in favor of the NRM candidate John Katuura against Independent candidate Tom Wabukombi, there would be bloodshed. In fact, it was because of similar reports that there was increased patrols in Hima Town Council, where one of our patrols was attacked. In fact, on the night of the Election Day 9th march 2016, supporters of Tom Wabukombi, contrary to electoral laws, declared their candidate the winner, and started celebrating in Hima Town. The following day, on 10th March, after the final tally of valid votes cast, the electoral commission declared the NRM candidate John Katuura as the winner. In reaction, Wabukombi’s supporters assembled at his office in Hima Town Council, and subsequently incidents of attacks on our security personnels. Joint UPDF and Police reinforcements have been deployed in all affected areas. The people in those areas should therefore not fear, and should go about your normal business.
In spite of the above mentioned incidents, however, I wish on behalf of the police and sister security agencies to assure the Public that we shall continue to ensure the security and safety of the Rwenzori sub region, and the country, as a whole. We caution those misleading the youth into engaging in reckless, and meaningless attacks on the security forces and other innocent people to desist from this criminality, otherwise the law and justice will catch up with them.
We, also, the Obusinga Bwa Rwenzururu Cultural Institution, as well as other cultural institutions in the region to cooperate with security forces to engage, particularly the youth against getting themselves involved in violence, and ensure that business life, and the life of ordinary people in Kasese District, and the sub region as a whole goes on, normally without disturbance from irresponsible, reckless, and even dangerous criminal activities.
1. The Police and its sister security agencies have boosted security in the Western districts of Kasese, Bundibugyo and Ntoroko following the tragic events surrounding the ethnic and cultural conflicts in the area.
2. The area that comprises the Mountain Rwenzori National Park has very significant Safari attractions that have drawn an increase in the number of visitors in the area.
3. This is to therefore, inform all domestic and international tourists that the combined forces of the Uganda Peoples Defence Force (UPDF) and the Uganda Police (UPF) successfully countered the attackers who were linked to the Rwenzururu Kingdom and arrested several of whom it arraigned before the courts of Law.
4. Apparently, calm has been fully restored in the area and recreation centers opened by the Government in the districts of Bundibugyo and Kasese that has led to the recovery of several guns and ammunitions as well as accommodating people seeking shelter and protection. The local leaders and elders managing these centers have taken the lead for the immediate restoration of calm by dialoguing and engaging the locals and all other stakeholders in the area to solve the current issues.
5. The deployment of appropriate Police and Military assets and supporting infrastructure has created safety for visitors selecting the Rwenzori region as a holiday destination. The Tourism Police that is tasked with the primary mandate of ensuring the safety and security of both international and domestic tourists, tourist attractions and facilities in Uganda is fully deployed covering all facilities in and around both the Queen Elizabeth and Mountain Rwenzori National Parks.
6. The Police therefore, urges the public and all tour companies to resume their operations in the area and benefit from the security infrastructure in the area.
Press and Public Relations Officer
Here is parts a statement with new information dropped to the Parliament and it should be interesting too thoose who has followed the skirmishes in Kasese and Bundibugyo.
1.1 The right Honourable Speaker of Parliament and Hon Members of Parliament, our country on Saturday the 5th July witnessed a very tragic and sad event that led to the death of at least 90 Ugandans in the districts of Bundibugyo, Kasese and Ntoroko.
1.2 I beg to move Madam Speaker that Parliament rises to observe a minute of silence in respect of these deceased Ugandans, I beg to move.
1.3 The characteristic of the events that unfolded show that some people in our society still hold firm beliefs in witchcraft, can easily be duped into criminality and can be very callous in causing death to their brothers and sisters.
(2) The main characteristics and details of the attacks
2.1 The attacks took place on Saturday 5th July between 2 PM and 4 pm in the districts of Bundibugyo, Kasese and Ntoroko
2.2 The main targets were police and army positions, wananchi in the case of Kasese, the palace of the ObundingyawaBwamba and stanbic bank in Bundibugyo
2.3 The attackers were mainly armed with spears,pangas sticks and some guns
2.4 The objectives were mainly to ,get guns and money.
(3) The places attacked in each of the affected districts are;
3.1 In Bundibugyo the places attacked included
(i) Kanyamirima barracks – 5 kilometers from the town of Bundibugyo,
(ii) Bundibugyo town where the stanbic bank and the palace of the OmundigyawaBwamba were key targets.
(iii) Kirindi shrine
3.2 In the district of Ntoroko the attacks were at the trading centre of Kibuuku and the police station in Karugutu town council.
3.3 While in Kasese, the places affected are:
(i) a weighbridge opposite KCCL factory on the highway from Kasese to Bushenyi and
(ii) The villages of Bigando and Ibuga.
(4) The Table below summarises the estimates of the people killed as of Tuesday 8/7/2014.
(1) Response to the crisis by Government
(a) Early on Sunday 6th the Inspector General of police and the Commander Land Forces UPDF moved into the area
(b) The battalion commanding offices in Bundibugyo were already joined by the 305 brigade based in Hima, Kasese
(c) I left Kampala on Sunday evening heading for Bundibugyo. My colleague the Hon Minister of Internal Affairs at the time we received the news of the attacks was in the Acholi sub region following the National ID registration but we kept in close touch over the issue.
(d) The President and Commander in Chief has been kept briefed about the events and as Hon Members are aware, he has issued a preliminary statement on the tragic situation
(e) I returned to Kampala on Tuesday night and yesterday morning I briefed the Cabinet and a good proportion of the time of Cabinet was spent discussing this tragedy and laying out strategies on how to prevent such tragedies in the future.
(f) The deployments in the affected districts have been stepped up both by police and the army
(g) The Inspector General’s attention is now fully focused on the region and up to yesterday he was still in the region.
(h) Intensive investigations are going on to find the basis of the attack and the leaders of this plan.
(2) While in Bundibugyo, I held a number of meetings and interviews
7.1 I met the senior leadership of the army and police, made a courtesy call on the OmundingyaWaBwamba and interviewed the Deputy Prime Minister of the ObusingaBwaRwenzururu who had been taken in by the police and also with one of the women that was among those captured from the attackers.
7.2 I had a discussion with political leaders of the district of Bundibugyo led by the district chairperson and also met 10 elders of the Bakonzo people in Bundibugyo
7.3 The woman I met was about 35 years old. Her story was that she had been captured by the attackers on her way from her garden on Friday 4th July i.e the day before the attacks of Saturday. Her brief history was that in 1997 when ADF attacked Bundibugyo she responded to the call by UPDF to join military training and she worked with the army for one year. However while working as LDU, she fell in love with a UPDF soldier and had a child with her in 2000. Thereafter the husband now was transferred to Gulu. In 2003 the husband defected from the army and returned with his wife and baby to Mbale where he hails from. She did not find life easy so she returned to her father’s home in Bundibugyo in 2006 and has since lived with the parents until she got involved in this attack.
7.4 When I asked her if she had seen a witch doctor before coming for the attack, she told me she refused to do so because this was satanic and her experience in Gulu had taught her that witchcraft does not protect one against bullets. She however indicated that inorder not to provoke her superiors she accepted to carry some stuff in her pocket which was meant to be protection against bullets. She revealed that while in the camp where she was taken on the Friday night she found about 150 other people.
7.5 The brief by the leaders in the camp was that the struggle was for liberation of the Bakonzo people from the Bamba oppression which was supported by the Central Government. They were told that the mission on Saturday was to get 2 things.
- guns from Kanyamirima barracks and the police
- money from stanbic bank
7.6 She further informed me that some of the people killed in the attack were from her village and she believed that these had been undergoing training during the day for at least a week in a place she did not know until that Friday night. On my asking, she told me the father’s name and that the father and sisters had mobile phones. And so I told her I wanted to ring the father. When the police brought me the phone the cell had died and so advised that it be charged. Subsequently I rang the father who collaborated her story in so far as the disappearance on Friday was concerned and her marriage to the UPDF soldier. He also revealed he had lost a son in the attack and until I rang him and informed him about the daughter he thought that she too had died.
7.7 This lady’s story collaborated what the soldiers had told me about the attackers having used witchcraft to protect themselves against bullets.
(3) Let me now give some characteristics of the attacks in Kasese. What happened at Bigando was callous horrible and despicable to say the least.
- Bigando and Ibuga are two villages in Busongora North the constituency represented in this House by Hon William Nzoghu.
- on the fateful afternoon 11 civilians, including children were killed in cold blood.
- A soldier on leave was forced into his house,the house locked from outside and set on fire! and other people hacked to death by the attackers.
- As I have said this was callous, atrocious and heartless on the part of the attackers.
- We strongly condemn this and the Government is doing everything possible to find the culprits and bring them to book
(4) Underlying factors
9.1 As I have clearly stated investigations are on and many people including the attackers who were captured alive are being interrogated.
9.2 I will therefore at this stage give the underlying factors operative in the Rwenzori region that will throw light on the causation of this tragedy.
9.3 First there is the matter of cultural institutions in the area. After the ObusingaBwaRwenzururu was recognized by the Government, the other ethnic groups in the place also called for recognition. Accordingly the Government recognized the cultural institution of the Bamba, the ObundingiyaBwaBamba.
9.4 In the meantime the Basongora and the Banyabindi in Kasese have also been calling for similar treatment. This has however not gone well with the ObusingaBwaRwenzururu. As the article in the news papers has shown, the President has asked the OmusingawaRwenzururu to have a dialogue with the other ethnic groups in the Rwenzururu kingdom.
9.5 There is also the issue of the economy and land mainly in Kasese district. This has been longstanding matter which Government has been grappling with and of recent. Parliament appointed a select committee to follow up the issue. I am made to understand a report will soon be presented to the House.
9.6 The Basongora and Banyabindi in Kasese district have persistently talked about being marginalized in the district while the Bakonzo in Bundibugyo have also claimed marginalization by the leadership in Bundibugyo.
9.7 The Government is aware of these grievances and is studying the matter carefully.
(i) The tragic events of last weekend deserve the condemnation of right thinking people.
(ii) In handling this tragedy, it is important that we separate issues. In particular I have in mind the criminally minded people who hatched this plan and therefore take responsibility for the deaths that occurred. Then there is the persisting belief in witchcraft on the part of some of our people in the country. To have a situation in the country where people still think that witchcraft can protect them from bullets and therefore daringly attack an army barracks,is a clear indication of the long road we still have to travel to achieve socio-economic transformation.
(iii) As I have said Government strongly condemns the attacks that took place in the Rwenzori region and is taking every step possible to calm the situation, thoroughly have the matter investigated with the view to bringing culprits to book in accordance with the law of the land.
(iv) The intelligence failure that occurred in this particular situation is being rectified.
(v) In the meantime Government is carefully studying the grievances as outlined in this statement.
(vi) I thank you Madam Speaker and Hon members of Parliament for the attention you have given to this statement.
Been days since I have updated directly updated on the Rwenzori skirmishes in Kasese and Bundibugyo. There has been reports and complaining on both sides. There been people screaming and rooting against Museveni and the spies of him that didn’t react to the locals in the area. It’s hard to know what the truth in those accusations is, but here is the reports I have now.
There have been reports of deflection from the FDC in Kasese to the NRM. This is persons who were in the main leadership positions in the FDC in the districts of Kasese district. One of these FDC leaders we’re Kmalha the now former Secretary General of the FDC in the Kasese District, second leader is Kimandi the now former District Councilor in Kisanga Sub-Country. Also the former MP for Busongora South: Charles Kibazanga. “Insiders told this website that Kibazanga “defected to NRM long time ago and met Museveni last year. He is no longer active in Kasese. Kibazanga appearing at Rwakitura would not be a surprise” (Akugizibwe, 2014).
Deal between Mumbere and Museveni:
“One of the first signs of the deal was the immediate release of the Rwenzururu Kingdom Prime Minister Noah Nzaghale who was indeed released yesterday”. IGP Gen. Kale Kayihura was sent to secure the ground after the skirmishes. He wasn’t ready for what was meeting him in Kasese. This wasn’t about single people who were going against the ruling party NRM, but society who was fatigued by it. Even the Konzo community could revolt against both the kingdom and government to start their own state of Yirra Republic, but the deal was made by and largely by Maj Gen. Wilson Mbadi who met wiht Kayihura and Mumbere, this deal would clear the air without making too much out it of it all. Kayihura was worried of the power and measures that Mumbere had as his disposal, he could muster a rebellion against the central-government. Intelligence provided to Kayihura also shows that the king has three palaces and in those 3 he has military bases, these are in Kasese, Bundibugyo and DRC. There is sent an delegation to the President to solve issues that is not currently being withhold, in the delegation is Charles Kibanzanga (Kamwand, 2014).
UPDF officers charged and stalled:
There has been a General Court Martial hearing after the skirmish in Kasese and Budinbugyo. The cases pending are up to 131 suspects in total by now. The major UPDF are former deputy director of Uganda Media Center Col. Shaban Bantazari and ex-Internal Security Organization Director in the Marine Maj. Herbert Muramagi. They are now detained at Police HQ in Makindye in Kampala suburb.
The other UPDF officers are:
– Former Commander of Uganda Battle Group 11+: Col. Hassan Kimbowa.
– Former Ugandan Troop Contingent Tank Component Commander: Lt. Col. David Kreys Matua.
– Former Commander of 343 battalion in Mogadishu: Lt. Col. Benson Olanya.
– Former Commander of Ugandan Battle Group 9+: Lt. Col. Eugine Ssebugwaawo.
– Former Commander of the Motorized Component: Maj. Nasur Namara.
– Former trainer in AlJazeera Training School in Mogadishu: Maj. Frank Kawero.
– Former School Chief Instructor of AlJazeera Training School in Mogadishu: Lt.Col. Sam Kirya.
– Former Military Information Officer and Logistics Officer in the Ugandan Army: Capt. Joy Atugonza.
“The deputy army spokesperson, Maj. Henry Obbo, has said the trial of the officers would resume at the end of “an emergency session” in Kasese. But he could not tell when the emergency trial would come to a close” (Kwegisa, 2014).
Hope this gave you some more insights to the matter at hand which took so many lives. Wonder what will be the answer to it all and what really happen. If it was tribal skirmishes or something else, by now it’s hard to say. When I know more and have more information, I will drop it and keep it running.
Akugizibwe, Edison – ‘BREAKING: Kasese Top FDC Leaders Defect to NRM’ (17.07.2014) Link: http://chimpreports.com/index.php/mobile/news/politics/24683-breaking-kasese-top-fdc-leaders-defect-to-nrm.html
Kamwada, Fred Daka – ‘MUMBERE-M7 DEAL’ (17.07.2014), Link:
Kwesiga, Pascal – ‘Trial of over 10 UPDF officers stalls’ (17.07.2014), Link: http://www.newvision.co.ug/news/657693-trial-of-over-10-updf-officers-stalls.html
NTV Clips worth seeing:
Well, if you are still interested in different sources on the Rwenzori – Obusinga bwa Rwenzururu and the Kasese and in Bundibugyo attack. Then I got some more for you today from different articles. After the tragic attack which killed 93 people and here is the new quotes and information on the sad event that happen in Kasese and Bundibugyo.
Kasese District Police Commander Michael Musani Sabila commented to media that Rwenzururu PM Nzaghale is now released from prison. Sabila continues: “We are still holding three other Rwenzururu officers” (…)”There is a high security alert to counter any further threats” (…)”Registration centres for the ongoing national ID project have also been provided with extra security to ensure the process is not disrupted “ (…)”A good number are calling us, expressing their willingness to surrender, saying they were deceived into taking up arms against the State” (Thwaite, 2014).
The three that still arrested:
– Kingdom Enviroment Officer: Erisaniya Mberemu.
– Information Minister and Kingdoms Spokesman: Joshua Kalimwithako Baluku.
– Chairman of the Rwenzururu Esyomango S’Obusinga(Youth Wing): Mitusera Isebayanda
The Inspector of General of Police Kale Kayihura said: “We have different categories such as actors, planners and organisers who will be handled accordingly to their actions against the State. We have reinforced our system, we shall not leave any stone unturned” (…) “We have released on police bond the two kingdom officials as our investigations into the matter continue. We arrested them because they were implicated”. He also said that he was disappointed with the Obsuninga bwa Rwenzururu (Mugume, 2014).
MPs of all political parties are critical of the ethical dived between Bakjona cultivators and Basongora cattle keepers. Defence Minister Dr. Crispus Kiyonga comments: “some people in our society still hold firm beliefs in witchcraft, can easily be duped into criminality and can be very callous in causing death to their brothers and sisters”. Even UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon says: “we must not be left to utter the words ‘never again,’ again and again” (…)”indeed; the world has yet to fully overcome its divisions, its indifference, and its moral blind spots. For if not checked, ethnic conflicts are contagious and can spread quickly like cancer cells and eat all the progress achieved over the years” (Mugerwa, 2014).
In Kasese district it would be three kings alone in the groups of the Bakonzo, Basongora and Bayabinindi. This would be:
– Rwenzururu Kingdom of the Bakonzo with Mr. Charles Wesley Mumbere (Only recognized cultural leader by the government).
– Basongora People has recognized as their cultural leader: Mr Ivan Rukirwa Bwambale (not recognized by the government).
– Bayabindi People has recognized as their cultural leader: Mr Elisha Mugisha(not recognized by the government).
In Bundibugyo there you have the kingdom of the Bwamba which actually recently got recongnized by the government. This was as an opposite too the Rwenzururu Kingdom. Bwanba is made for the ethnic groups of Bamba and Babwasi, the issue in the district is that is also having a great number of Bakonzo (Katusabe, 2014).
Ms Polly Namaye deputy spokesman of the Uganda Police has recently addresses the matter and about the issue of the king in custody: “free and there has not been any attempt by the police to summon or arrest him under any circumstance”. She also said: “to have the king summoned the police will not desist (from executing its duties) but will do so in the interest of protecting the lives and properties of all Ugandans equally” (Katusabe, 2014).
Mr Mugisha the Bayabindi leader says: “These activities were carried out by the Bakonzo” (…)”We had informed the authorities that such attacks would happen but our advice was not taken seriously. It could easily be discerned from what many Bakonzo leaders had been saying that an attack on us was imminent. We live in fear” (…)”commemorating the deaths of our people who were killed during the Rwenzururu uprising between 1964 and 1981” (…)”we are different from Bakonzo” (…)”For us we are Bantu-speaking people and we don’t have much in common with the Bakonzo. They therefore targeted us because they associated us with the enemies (the Batooro)” (…)”The army and the police deployed heavily to protect our function; we even had people from State House” (…)”had threatened that if our function took place they would fight” (…)”When they failed to stop the function they diverted their anger to state institutions” (Katusabe, 2014).
Mr Bwambale the in-charge project desk at the Justice and Peace Commission in Kasese which isn’t agreeing with Mugisha is saying: “During the Rwenzururu war starting in the 1960s, our fathers knew that they needed guns to fight to break off from Tooro” (…)”So how can you convince me that in the year 2014, the kingdom of Rwenzururu would organise an attack on a military barracks executed by stick-wielding thugs? It doesn’t make sense” (…)”like his king has argued, that the attack could have been planned by anti-Rwenzururu people to discredit the kingdom. We were unable to establish whether this is one line of investigation the police is following” (…)”Muhindo and all the others should not have died” (…)”it should look at more strategic interventions to address the problem” (…)”There is a danger in the message which the government seems to send to those people who intend to be recognised as cultural leaders” (…)”they seem to be saying that once you fight and win recognition we put you on payroll” (Katusabe, 2014).
Mr. Mumbere says: “Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, the institution of traditional leader or cultural leader may exist in any area of Uganda in accordance with the culture, customs and traditions or wishes and aspirations of the people to whom it applies” (…)”It’s natural resources, especially in the lowlands, which is causing trouble in Kasese especially” (Katusabe, 2014).
Mr Mugisha gives his thoughts on why they should get recognized: “We will stop being marginalized” (…)”we have a very big problem with land; our people have been sidelined. Look at me, I am the king of the Banyabindi but I live on a small plot” (…)”Ibuga Prison farm has a lot of vacant land” (…)”let the government take some of my people there” (Katusabe, 2014).
Rev Can Cornelius Matte the dean of St. Paul Church where he discusses the issues of the Bakonzo. Mr Matte says: “problem of resources is getting worse” (…)”We have had land conflicts in the area for some time but we never predicted that this thing would become this dangerous. We are living in a corridor between national parks, prison and mountains. People are now desperate and something very small causes a very serious reaction. People are now like hungry dogs” (…)”Every year we send people to theological colleges and we have some other opportunities. We ensure that we send a Munyabindi and Musongora. This year the only one we have sent to university is a Musongora” (Katusabe, 2014).
Dr. Kizza Besigye has new comments on Rwenzururu:
“This is not tribal violence as government claims. Why is it only the Police and UPDF being targeted as if they are tribes? It’s because people are fed-up and feel that these are agents of the bigger problem up there” (…)”This situation in western Uganda cannot be detached from the problems in the whole country. The causes are not a local dynamic as it has been reduced but rather a political time bomb government is sitting on”. He describes President Museveni as “king of sectarianism”. Besigye is also addressing Kiyonga actions: ““Kiyonga was there when they carved out Ntoroko for the Batuku from Bundibugyo for the Bamba and have plans to further divide Kasese into four other constituents for the Basongora and other small tribes they want to create” (Musisi, 2014).
Katusabe, Ruth & Mukiibi Ssrunjogi Misari Thembo Kahungu, Eriasa – ‘Inside the melting pot of Rwenzori region’ (13.07.2014) Link: http://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/Inside-the-melting-pot-of-Rwenzori-region/-/688334/2381740/-/wckx5vz/-/index.html
Mugume, Colleb & Ninsuma Enid – ‘Police to screen Kasese, Bundibugyo attackers’ (13.07.2014) Link: http://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/Police-to-screen-Kasese–Bundibugyo-attackers/-/688334/2381922/-/fvvkg0/-/index.html
Mugerwa, Yaslin – ‘MPs unite against Rwenzori attacks’ (13.07.2014) Link: http://www.monitor.co.ug/OpEd/OpEdColumnists/YasiinMugerwa/MPs-unite-against-Rwenzori-attacks/-/878670/2381556/-/us815oz/-/index.html
Musisi, Fredric & Tumwine, Albert – ‘Govt to blame for Rwenzori attacks’ – Besigye’ (13.07.2014) Link:http://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/Govt-to-blame-for-Rwenzori-attacks—Besigye/-/688334/2381860/-/dvi3k0z/-/index.html
Thwaite, John B. – ‘Kasese attacks: Rwenzururu premier released’ (12.07.2014) Link:http://www.newvision.co.ug/news/657452-kasese-attacks-rwenzururu-premier-released.html
Fred Enaga the Police Spokesman confirmed that 113 people are accused and arrested in connection with Bundibugyo and Kasese (SMSMedia, 2014).
The Top officials from the Rwenzururu Kingdom who is in police custody:
– Premier Minister Noah Nzaghale
– Deputy Premier Yeremiya Mutooro
– Chairperson of Rwenzururu Youth Wing: Erisinana Mberamu
– Minister of Tourism: Yoramu Mulema
– The chairperson of Rwenzururu War Veterans
– Chief of Omusinga(king) on Security
Fred Enaga commentes: “All the files of the suspects are in their advanced stage and awaiting the advice of the Director for Public Prosecution (DPP). They will be arraigned in court today (Friday) or early next week on charges of treason and concealing treason”(…)”They have all recorded statements indicating that they had a hand in the attacks”(…)”But if our investigations reveal that he (Omusinga Mumbere) was also involved in the attacks, then the law will take its course”(…)”two more people, including the minister of information and another person who allegedly helped the attackers to procure a witchdoctor from Democratic Republic of Congo have been arrested and detained at Kasese Central police station” (SMSMedia, 2014).
More information from the Police:
Police say they have recovered 10 guns, 9 magazines and tear gas canisters stolen from them during the attack in Bundibugyo district on Saturday (UgandaRadioNetwork, 2014).
Polly Namaye says: “that police has not under any circumstance attempted to summon or arrest the king” (…)” however does not rule out the possibility of summoning the king in connection with the recent attacks on the Rwenzori region that claimed over 90 people” (…)” that the kingdom Prime Minister Noah Nzaghale, and two other kingdom officials are still under police custody” (KFM, 2014).
Some News and reports, which I cannot say the completed source line, but still interesting in the matters of things:
The Group fighting in the Rwenzori region has accused the government of misleading the people on the cause of fighting.
The Group says they are fighting a full scale war against the regime and have released the following numbers from recent fighting:
1 -In the first attack on Mubende police barracks, 9 policemen were killed and 42 guns captured. No causality on the attackers.
2 -The attack on Bundibujo army barracks, 214 guns,17 Machines and ammunition were taken, 192 soldiers were killed, attackers suffered 3 causalities.
3 -At Ntoroko 4 Soldiers were killed, guns taken
4 -At Kaso and weighbridge a total of 24 guns were taken and Three Soldiers killed.
According to the message from this Group, they described Museveni statement on the conflict as a meandering mind of a tired and deranged man.
Will adress it more when I have more information.
A Bit more:
“All the files of the suspects are in their advanced stage and awaiting the advice of the Director for Public Prosecution.” – Rwenzori suspected attackers face treason charges.
KFM.co..ug – ‘Rwenzururu King could be summoned’ (11.07.2014) Link:http://kfm.co.ug/news/rwenzururu-king-could-be-summoned.html
SMSMEDIA – ‘Suspected Rwenzori attackers face treason charges’ (11.07.2014) Link: http://smsmedia.ug/2014/07/suspected-rwenzori-attackers-face-treason-charges/
UgandaRadioNetwork – ‘Security Recovers 10 Guns Stolen In Bundibugyo Attacks’ (11.07.2014) Link: http://ugandaradionetwork.com/a/story.php?s=65267
It’s been movement on the ground. President Museveni has spoken and the Rwenzuru King has also said his piece. First Defence Minister Crispus Kiyonga and then before I tire you, to you sleep. Please continue to read!
Defence Minister Crispus Kiyonga put the actual number of deaths during the siege are now 92(Okello, 2014).
Here is his statement to this Thursday in Parliament:
“The characteristic of the events that unfolded show that some people in our society still hold firm beliefs in witchcraft, can easily be duped into criminality and can be very callous in causing death to their brothers and sisters. The attacks took place on Saturday 5th July between 2 PM and 4 pm in the districts of Bundibugyo, Kasese and Ntoroko. The main targets were police and army positions, wananchi in the case of Kasese, the palace of the Obundingya wa Bwamba and sSanbic bank in Bundibugyo. The attackers were mainly armed with spears, pangas sticks and some guns with the main objectives of getting guns and money. The places attacked in each of the affected districts are; In Bundibugyo the places attacked included; Kanyamirima barracks – 5 kilometers from the town of Bundibugyo, Bundibugyo town where the stanbic bank and the palace of the Omundigyawa Bwamba were key targets. Kirindi shrine,Ntandi and Katumba. In the district of Ntoroko the attacks were at the trading centre of Kibuuku and the police station in Karugutu town council. While in Kasese, the places affected are; a weighbridge opposite KCCL factory on the highway from Kasese to Bushenyi and the villages of Bigando and Ibuga. An estimated total number of 92 people are reported to have lost their lives which include, four police men, three soldiers, three wananchi and 68 attackers in Bundibugyo district, in Ntoroko, one soldier and one wananchi were killed while in Kasese district, 13 people were killed, one police man, one soldier and 11 wananchi lost their lives” (Okello, 2014).
Rwenzuru king Charles Wesley Mumbere statement:
First the Rwenzuru Prime Minister Noah Nzaghale and Minister of Tourism Erisa Mwincubere were taken by the Police at 9 AM at the Office of the Kingdom in Kasese.
The Kings statement: “that the people who attacked on Saturday should be part of his Kingdom’s enemies who did not want him recognized and that they may be looking for means of having the government abolish the institution”(…)”warned government from being biased in handling cultural issues in the Rwenzori region but rather take the task of leading or mediating the reconciliation process”(…)”the decision to arrest the Prime Minister and other officials was hash because no one in the Kingdom including himself is willing to be interviewed at peace as police continue hunting for the wrong elements”(…)”He does not recall agreeing with the president over the matter because his subjects are across the region” (Red Pepper, 2014).
Kings friend Tom Stancy comments: “the United Nations had granted the Bakonzo a state called the Yira Republic. Yira is another name for Bakonzo. On this Mumbere said that document was authored by some of the people who have for a long time opposed the Rwenzururu Kingdom” (Red Pepper, 2014).
Minority Rights Group Africa (MRGA) responds to the attacks:
“Condemns the weekend attacks in Ntoroko, Kasese and Bundibugyo districts in Rwenzori region in Western Uganda which claimed the lives of at least 72 people, including numerous civilians, two soldiers and three police officers”(Matovu, 2014).
Jolly Kemigabo MRGA Office Manager says: “We all know there are historical injustices suffered by some ethnic groups like the Basongora who lost land, but the government has failed to resolve their issues”(…)”The government, with the involvement of all stakeholders, has to push for peaceful co-existence while addressing deep-seated inequality and discrimination leading to the political and social exclusion of minority ethnic groups”(…)” Such steps should include resettlement or compensation for evicted communities, and the economic empowerment of marginalized groups” (Matovu, 2014).
President Yoweri Museveni blames security agencies:
“Fortunately, today Uganda has got a capable State that is able to deal decisively and expeditiously with such schemes although, of course, there was a failure of intelligence. How did these people weave such a scheme without being pre-empted? What were the GISOs doing?” (Kasasira, 2014). Veteran Security Chief David Pukol commented: “What had become of our intelligence agencies? May be everybody is looking at Kyankwanzi resolution, President Museveni’s fifth term and they have forgotten about Al-Shabaab? This intelligence failure has baffled us. It sends a wrong message” (Kasasira, 2014).
I will keep you more updated when I see more news or reports on the matter that fits.
Kasasira, Risdel (10.07.2014) – ‘Rwenzori attacks: Museveni blames intelligence organ’ (the Citizen.co.tz) Link: http://www.thecitizen.co.tz/News/Rwenzori-attacks–Museveni-blames-intelligence-organ/-/1840340/2378786/-/qvgdu8/-/index.html
Matovu, Mohammed (10.07.2014) – ‘To calm ethnic tensions in Rwenzori region, government has to address specific needs of ethnic minorities’ (Minority Rights Group)
Okello, Dickens Honeywell (10.07.2014) – ‘Kiyonga: Why Rwenzori Militants Attacked Defence Installations’ (Chimpreports.com)
Red Pepper (10.07.2014) – ‘Rwenzururu King Speaks Out On Rwenzori Attacks’ (Redpepper.co.ug)
Released by Rt Hon Nzaghale Noah, Omulerembera (Prime Minister)
Following the multiple attacks in Kasese and Bundibugyo [on] 5th July 2014, Obusinga Bwa Rwenzururu is disheartened and condemns the attackers / perpetrators in the strongest terms possible.
There have been events that took place prior to this that were seemingly ignored but which could have been the precursor to yesterday’s attacks in Kasese and Bundibugyo.
a) Since the 20th June 2014, a provocative announcement by Mr Byabashaija Augustine Amooti was aired on various radios in the region calling upon the Banyabindi Community to come to Muhokya, Kasese to commemorate a 50th Anniversary of the massacre of the Banyabindi by Rwenzururu fighters.
As Obusinga Bwa Rwenzururu we objected to this claim which never actually existed at all because some Banyabindi were part of the struggle, actually some Banyabindi constituted some of the Royal Guards of the Omusinga Charles Wesley Mumbere Irema-Ngoma while in the Mountain. The Banyabindi were never targeted at all during the 20 years of fighting (1962-1982).
b) On 2nd July 2014, between 11pm and 5am unknown thugs attacked the Obusinga Bwa Rwenzururu Royal Palace on Kibanzanga Road Kasese Municipality and attempted to climb the perimeter wall but were repulsed by the Royal Guards.
Bad elements could have used this misunderstanding as an opportunity for them to launch their attrocious attack because of the fertile ground that seemed to exist.
His Majesty Omusinga Charles Mumbere Irema-Ngoma commissioned a Peace team to promote a harmonious co-existence between the Bakonzo and the Bamba/ Babwisi following the misunderstandings that arose from the hurried recognition of the Obudhingiya Bwa Bamba. His Majesty conveyed his congratulatory message to the Omudhingiya and called upon the two societies to continue to live in harmony and mutual respect.
At the time of the attack, some of the members of this peace team were still in Bundibugyo and were under attack by the invaders. This was rather their second visit on the same matter and the mission had shown positive results.
We are equally suprised by the turn of events in Bundibugyo. The skirmishes in Biganda, Kitswamba sub country are a long standing dispute over land. This issue has been going on for many years and has taken many forms. It is a usual re occurence following the imbalance in land allocation between the cultivators and cattle keepers. Either of the warring parties may cuase an attack.
We call upon the Government both local and central to address these issues promptly to avoid suspicion and escalation of the problems outlined above. We call upon the Banya Rwenzururu to remain calm and promote peace, unity and tranquility all over the Rwenzoori region.
HABWA KAYINGO N’OBUSINGA BWETHU