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Charges on four Kanungu fire suspects a set up – Mbabazi

Parliament. The Prime Minister, Mr Amama Mbabazi, yesterday said the four men who were arrested and charged in connection with a fire that gutted businessman Benson Karabareme’s premises in Kanungu District are “closely” associated to him.

The premier, however, indicated to Parliament that their arrest appeared to be a “frame-up”.“Those that were arrested are closely associated to me, are strong Movement supporters and leaders in Kanungu,” he told the MPs, stressing that the charges against them were a set up.

Media reports recently said the Kanungu NRM vice president, Mr Ali Rugomwa, and three others close to Mr Mbabazi and considered to be his strong supporters in Kinkizi, were arrested by the police last week in connection to a strange fire that burnt Mr Karabareme’s leisure park.

Mr Karabareme, who is the general secretary of Kihiihi Traders Association and a strong supporter of President Museveni, is remembered as having handed over to the President a plaque inscribed with the words: “Our sole candidate 2016,”.The arrest of the four men attracted the attention of the Inspector General of Police, Gen Kale Kayihura, who last week flew to the scene to conduct more investigations.

But Mr Mbabazi while responding to a question by the Rukungiri Municipality MP, Mr Roland Mugume, said when he inquired why his supporters were arrested, he was informed that the young man, who confessed having burnt the leisure park, said he was with them. Mr Mugume had asked him to comment about the arrest of his supporters during Wednesday’s Prime Minister’s Question Time session in Parliament.

The prime minister also asked for any corroborating evidence only for the young man to later deny any knowledge of the four men. He questioned the manner in which police conduct their investigations and warned that they must be “very careful” in handling their work.He said the matter was handled by the area Chief Magistrate and the people involved were granted bail.

“I am taking all the necessary steps and measures to ensure that this does not happen again and that the rights of people are not violated by those who are supposed to be protecting them. You will be hearing what will happen,” Mr Mbabazi said, prompting murmuring in the House.He said the government has also picked interest in the matter.

The premier has been accused by some party colleagues of harbouring presidential ambitions, a charge he has consistently denied.

mnalugo@ug.nationmedia.com

SOURCE: Daily Monitor

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