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Attorney General Shots Back at Army Maj. Kulaigye

By Norman Miwambo
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Buganda's Attorney General, Apollo Makubuya, has denied accusations made

by the Uganda Army spokesman, Major Fred Kulaigye that the Buganda

Government attempted to stop President Yoweri Museveni from visiting

Kasubi Royal Tombs soon after the heritage site had succumbed to a

devastating fire last Tuesday.
Reacting to comments made by Maj Kulaigye to this writer, Mr Makubuya

said: “Mr Kulaigye is not right at all to make such [an] accusation

against me because even the Katikkiro [Buganda's Prime Minister] had

already advised the President not to come at that moment,” Mr Makubuya

explained, adding: “The time and way he [Museveni] came in was not right;

it resulted into the killing [of innocent] people.”

According to Mr Makubuya, there were some exhaustive discussions within

the Buganda Government establishment about Gen Museveni's visit to the

wrecked UNESCO-endorsed World Heritage Site. As President Museveni's

motorcade approached the site, angry Buganda Kingdom loyalists, wailing and

shouting in anger, tried to stop the his motorcade by throwing stones at its

advance cars and erecting human roadblocks. Museveni's Presidential Guard

Brigade (PGB) that accompanies him everywhere opened fire with live

ammunition resulting in the death of three unarmed civilians. Four others

were severely injured.

Mr Makubuya further explained: “I was there in person; I had studied the

situation and the mood of people. I also had some discussions with Sakira

(Moses Sakira, Uganda's deputy director of CID) and he communicated to

them [our advice] but they refused. Mr Kulaigye's accusations against me

are not right. He should have consulted me before making such [a] comment.

The reasons why they insisted to get there are [only] known to

themselves.”

He explained that the Buganda Government had realised that emotions were

riding high and that it would not have been a good time for the President

to visit so soon after the tragedy. “This was not time for joy; it was

[time for] mourning and people were not in a good mood. That is exactly

what I told Sakira and several journalists who approached me for a

comment,” he said.

Maj Kulaigye had earlier told this writer that it was a bad idea for

Buganda loyalists to try and stop Gen Museveni from accessing the scene.

He praised the armed forces for their 'professionalism' by killing 'only

three people'. “Thank God they were professional otherwise many people

would have lost their lives,” Kulaigye said.

Separately, Buganda deputy minister of information, Medard Lubega Sseggona, whilst appearing on London-based Ngoma radio, he supports the idea that the central government pay up rent arrears totalling to about Shs 20bn [approximately £ 6.3 million] it owe to Buganda, to enable the kingdom to reconstruct the tombs. Mr Sseggona was reacting to the government's declaration to investigate the cause of the fires and to help Buganda towards the tombs' reconstruction process.

Ugandans who called on the programme wondered if there is going to be a conclusive investigation to find the cause of the fires. They based their reason on the previous investigations that have yielded nothing in the past. Museveni's government has been so enthusiastic to declare an investigation whenever such strange incident happens.

However, previous history shows no such investigation has ever yielded any conclusive evidence on what had actually happened. For example, when the former Energy Minister, Dr Andrew Lutakome Kayiira, was assassinated in March 1987, at a friend's house, President Museveni's government brought in the specialised Scotland Yard police from London to investigate. To this day, their findings have never been made public.

Last year, when contacted the Scotland Yard to avail this reporter with an authenticated copy in the murder of Dr Kayiira, the Information Manager, Specialist Crime Directorate, James Young said that the content could dent the relationship between the British and Uganda government.

In a communiqué to this writer Young said: “Having located and considered

the relevant information, I am afraid that I am not required by statute to

release the information requested.” He also explained that, he would not

release the report because its contents could prejudice the relationship

between the UK and the Government of Uganda. Last year's refusal was the

first official indication from the Scotland Yard that it is unwilling to let Ugandans know what is really contained in its report about the assassination of Dr Kayiira. British spy the Yard, had never maded any comment about its findings, and although, the Uganda government and some DP officials published what each called the true report in the murder of Dr Kayiira.

This possibly point to the facts of the outcome of the previous investigations under President Museveni.

When the Permanent Secretary of Defence Ministry and the then close aide

to the president, Brig. Noble Mayombo suddenly died, in an oddly circumstance, an investigation was ordered and to this day, no one knows what such an enquiry has come up with. Other investigation that have never seen the

space in the public include: that of a prominent Lawyer Robinah Kiying,

Maj. Gen James Kazini, and Brian Bukenya [son to Uganda's Vice President],

Ugandan political observers have wondered why the Ugandan leader thought

it fit to visit a scene where there was no doubt that emotions among the

Baganda were seriously rising. Last year, Gen Museveni ordered the Uganda

police to 'shoot to kill' Buganda loyalists demonstrating against

Museveni's orders for the Kabaka not to visit Bugerere, a part of his

kingdom. 45 people were killed as a result. Maj Kulaigye may have chosen

not to remember this incident but one would ask whether, given his

comments this week, the shooting of 45 unarmed civilians last year could

be termed as being profoundly 'unprofessional'.

Putting that incident aside, it is now becoming a common phenomenon for

the Ugandan leader to appear in public 'heavily armed'. During mud

landslides in Buduuda Eastern Uganda last month, Mr Museveni went to visit

the area and was photographed bearing an AK-47 rifle across his chest and

clothed in full army fatigues. At Kasubi this week, none other than the

President's own son who happens to be the commander of the PGB, Lt Col

Kainerugaba accompanied his father armed with, yes; you guessed right, an

AK-47 rifle and a pistol hanging, cowboy-style, over his long legs. Does

any reader remember one Uday Hussein formerly of Iraq?