KAMPALA – Police have apologized to Buganda Kingdom and the Catholic Church after their officers used teargas to disperse a Mbogo Clan meeting that was also attended by Bishop Emeritus John Baptist Kaggwa.
On Saturday, police in Mityana District used teargas to disperse members of Buganda Kingdom’s Mbogo Clan who had convened at their ancestral site at Mugulu – Ziggoti Town Council to attend thanksgiving prayers for their leader, Elder Gajuule Kayiira Kasibante.
Kasibante served as head of Buganda’s 52 clans for seven years until recently when the Kabaka Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II replaced him with Omutaka Namwama Augustine Nsereko.
The mass was led by retired Masaka Diocesan Bishop John Baptist Kaggwa, but the function was later disrupted by police and military officers who fired teargas to block more people from accessing the venue. In the ensuing melee, some elderly persons fainted after inhaling teargas.
Now addressing journalists at Government’s Uganda Media Center, the police spokesman Fred Enanga said the police actions were to prevent a big gathering in a bid to stop further spread of Coronavirus in the country.
Enanga however, was quick to add that what was done on that event was not intentional and it’s the reason why police has come out to apologizes to all those who were directly impacted by the teargas including the retired Bishop of catholic church, and the cultural leaders from Buganda Kingdom at large.
He explains that the incident that led to the firing of teargas was caused by some invited politicians like Francis Zaake of Mityana, and David Kalwanga among others who came with a fleet of over 50 boda-bodas, and several youth who attracted a larger gathering in uncontrolled setting in line with Ministry of health guidelines against COVID-19.
“At some stage our officers found themselves confronted by the supporters of these politicians who wanted to gain access to the venue; all other efforts to disperse them failed and the only option left was to deploy teargas,” said Enanga.
He says that police had to use teargas to disperse the seemingly violent group, the same teargas that spread to the venue where the Bishop was holding the mass.
On Sunday, The prime Minister of the Buganda, Charles Peter Mayiga condemned police and the military actions for dispersing people who were attending a cultural event. Mayiga said that it was not wise to disperse people who were respecting the coronavirus (COVID-19) guidelines.
But according to police the organizers also did not receive clearance, which was a mistake.