KAMPALA – A section of lawmakers from the Kasese region have called on Government to arraign all suspects arrested during the November 2016 attack on Rwenzururu kingdom by security forces, with questions swirling on why no trail has taken place, three years after the incidence.
Led by Winnie Kiiza, Chairperson Kasese Parliamentary Caucus, the team that also included; Atkins Katusabe (Bukonjo West), William Nzoghu (Busongora North), Harold Muhindo (Bukonzo West) and Robert Centenary (Kasese Municipality) made the call today while addressing journalists at Parliament.
It should be recalled that today (November 26) marks exactly three years since violence erupted on 26th November 2016 in Kasese, when Police raided the Rwenzururu kingdom, and the Police’s deployment was further beefed up by UPDF under the command of Lt.Peter Elwelu who was later commended for his handling of the Kasese massacre that saw him promoted from Major General to Lieutenant General in February 2019.
Following the raid, about 150 people are reported to have lost their lives, 200 of these arrested and remain on remand awaiting trial with the Omusinga (king) of Rwenzururu, Charles Mumbere, arrested, charged with murder and is under house arrest with conditions not to move outside Kampala metropolitan area without permission of court.
Kiiza described the day today as a sad day for the people of Kasese who are remembering the terrible attack meted on people of Kasese who are left in mourning and in grief.
“There have been 200 people in cells, five have so far died in prison. 150 people were massacred in cold blood and have tried all means to see if we can come back to normal life. Its unfortunate courts haven’t given the suspects justice we asked for and we know that justice delayed is justice denied. We are calling upon Government to ensure that justice is expedited, because we believe we experienced the genocide of highest order,” said Kiiza.
She described the continued detention of Rwenzururu king as the arrest of the Kingdom’s cultural values and norms and called on Government to ensure Mumbere is accorded his rights to freedom of speech, freedom of movement and put an end to the arrests that continue to take place.
Nzoghu also described the day as painful after more than 150 were killed by what he termed as merciless and dictatorial regime of Museveni and said that it is the same regime that was the first one to mistreat, manhandle, humiliate a traditional leader.
He called for speedy trial of the suspects, “With three years down the road, none of the suspects arrested has been arraigned in court to hear their case. The suspects are simply on remand for the last three years. Most have contracted various diseases.”
Robert Centenary said that the people of Rwenzururu have given Government enough time for dialogue, and the talks have proved to be foolery and said the leaders will soon come up with new measures to deal with the Rwenzururu issue.
He said, “If these people who are in prison and that there is overwhelming evidence but you haven’t taken step to arraign them in court. If they’re your relatives would you continue at this pace? Children have stopped out of school, wives and husbands have left. Can you get that human face back? Designate resources to hear their case expeditiously?”
Centenary added, “You have bought enough time in terms of dialogue, which hasn’t yielded anything. It is foolery. Three years is more than ample time.”
Following the aftermath of the November 2016 operation, Government charged suspects including six children, with treason, terrorism, and murder for the deaths of 15 police.