Uganda: Kasese MPs Slam IGP on Attacks

By Yasiin Mugerwa

Parliament - Lawmakers from Kasese District, the epicentre of the post-election violence in Rwenzori sub-region, on Tuesday blamed the recurrence of the clashes on security personnel and accused the police chief of "lying to the nation,".

Kasese Woman MP Winnie Kiiza and Mr William Nzoghu (Busongora North), questioned Inspector General of Police, Kale Kayihura's impartiality in the conflict and tasked Internal Affairs minister, Ms Rose Akol, to explain the shooting of nine people.

They dismissed the police version of a local militia allied to the Rwenzururu Kingdom being responsible for the violence as "a cover-up."

"The IGP has misrepresented the situation in Kasese saying it was a militia yet it was purely Police shooting. The IGP needs to apologise for misleading Ugandans and painting the (Rwenzururu Kingdom) king as a person who is against the government," they said.

In defence of police actions, Gen Kayihura said police would not look on as their officers are attacked as if they have no right to self-defence. "This was not a case of the police or army attacking, if anything they were attacked," Gen Kayihura said. "Law enforcement officers are allowed to use firearms for self-defence."

The IGP said the attackers stabbed SPC Joel Mbusa and injured Commissioner of Police Jacob Opolot, fracturing his right leg.

Ms Kiiza said on March 11, Police commanded by the Gombolola Internal Security Officer (GISO), she did not name, went deep in the mountains and shot "innocent people."

She also alleged people shot were from a family that had a long standing wrangle with his family. The GISO is currently nursing wounds after he was attacked on Tuesday night.

"There was a 14- year-old boy who was shot during the election, Police lied, saying it was a stray bullet. There have been many deaths, some were caused by election violence, some were due to misuse of police resources," Ms Kiiza told the House.

Ms Kiiza and Mr Nzoghu accused police of covering up the killings by creating a tribal conflict between the two rival groups; the Basongora and Bakonjo. They claimed conflict in the district was caused by mismanagement of elections and misuse of firearms.

Speaker Kadaga Rebecca Kadaga asked the Minister for Internal Affairs to present a statement on the state of affairs in Kasese District.

In 2014, at least 90 people were killed in ethnic attacks in the western Uganda districts of Kasese and Bundibugyo.

Source: All Africa