A weekend investigation by Al-Hajji Moses Kigongo into a recent Kanungu fire has found that Police Chief Kale Kayihura rushed to arrest the four suspects.
Kigongo, the ruling party’s first national vice chairperson, announced his findings on Saturday during a meeting with Kanungu leaders at the district headquarters. Kigongo was in the district on Friday and Saturday, at the urging of President Museveni, to investigate reports that suspects Ally Rugomwa, Drake Atukunda, David Turyatemba and Aziz Niwamanya, accused of burning Benson Karabareme’s amusement park, were being framed for political reasons.
Kigongo told the district leaders that Kayihura was not in order to arrest the suspects since they included Rugomwa, the district NRM vice chairman Atukunda, a relative of Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi and David Turyatemba, a businessman linked to Mbabazi.
“Although it was a criminal case, Kayihura should have realised that it was taking a dramatic turn and it was becoming a political issue. On his arrival here [Kanungu], he should have had the courtesy to first meet the district leaders so that he gets a profile of the alleged suspects,” Kigongo reportedly said, according to our sources.
When he is done writing his report, Kigongo said he would forward it to the president for perusal. The district NRM leaders said they would remain united. Karabareme, they said, attempted to split them when he claimed, in a police statement, that his park was torched by the four suspects because they were unhappy with his change of political allegiance from Mbabazi to President Museveni.
They said Karabareme was not known in their party structures. Kigongo reportedly told the meeting that he was in the district to ensure that the NRM party did not disintegrate in Kanungu, one of its gholds. He commended the people of Kanungu for their political maturity and for remaining calm when their party members were arrested at the urging of Kayihura.
Kayihura couldn’t be reached yesterday. According to his aide, the police chief was locked up in a series of meetings. He said, however, that Kayihura acted swiftly in Kanungu because he got information that the fire could have been lit by terrorists.
“Gen Kayihura does not get involved in political matters. His work is to ensure law and order are upheld and that people are safe,” the aide said, declining to comment further.
In the Kanungu meeting, one councillor, who declined to be named, told Kigongo that Karabareme was highly indebted to many saving groups in the district, which is why he was desperate to catch the president’s eye, hoping to get a financial bailout. Kigongo, however, urged the leaders to remain calm, since all issues raised would be discussed with the president.
President Museveni on Friday warned senior NRM leaders against making public statements that could stir controversy and disharmony among party supporters.
was at his Rwakitura country home where he met three of the four arson suspects Museveni met the suspects together with park owner Karabareme, Kayihura and Martin Mugabi, the Kanungu resident district commissioner.
“There is no one above the law. So, I am not happy that some senior leaders are saying things that could lead to more chaos,” Museveni reportedly said, without mentioning names.
But our sources said Museveni’s message seems to have been directed at Mbabazi. Mbabazi whipped up a political storm last Wednesday, when he suggested in Parliament that the Kanungu fire suspects, all supporters of his, had been framed.
Source : The Observer