Peter Sematimba, the well known LC3 chairman of Rubaga Division, has been beaten up and denied entrance into the Kasubi Tombs.
Sematimba, who went to the tombs to join in the reconstruction effort following last night's fire, was blocked from entry by a large group of young men. They accused Sematimba, a member of the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM), of anti-Buganda sentiments and threw stones and bricks at him, warning of more punishment if he should dare enter the premises.
Sematimba fled for his life into Kasubi Church of Uganda, which is located just outside the gate to the tombs.
The mob also beat up Mama Fina, the chairperson of the traditional medicine practitioners association, Uganda ne Eddagala Lyayo.
Mama Fina, whose real name is Sylvia Namutebi, was also accused of being a sympathetic towards the NRM. She was surrounded, kicked to the ground and had several stones thrown at her. She was last seen being rushed to hospital for treatment.
Other groups of men set up a roadblock on Masiro Road, which leads the tombs, to inspect cars passing by. For over one hour they demanded that the drivers of the cars stop to step out for inspection. Newspapers, particularly the government-owned New Vision and the Luganda daily, Bukedde, were taken out of the cars, and torn in front of the drivers before the cars were allowed to proceed.
Journalists from the New Vision, Bukedde and the Uganda Broadcasting Corporation (UBC) have been refused entrance into the tombs. They are accused of propagating anti-Buganda sentiments and pandering only to government interests.
Robert Muwonge, one of the young men, said he and his friends are part of the Buganda youth group, Nkoba za Mbogo. He said the journalists were barred from the site because of their biased reporting where Buganda Kingdom issues are involved. He claimed that Bukedde newspaper and radio are benefiting from the closure of the kingdom-owned CBS radio and would not be allowed into the burial site until further notice.
The action against the journalists has not gone down well with some members of the Buganda Kingdom establishment.
Kivumbi Male Okweeza, the Ssaza Chief of Kyadondo under which the tombs are located, says the actions of the Nkoba za Mbogo members have not been approved by the kingdom. He says he is negotiating with the youth to be more tolerant of those with divergent views and to allow access of all journalists to the site.
In the meantime, the police, who have been refused entrance to the tombs, are beefing up their presence around Kasubi, Nakulabye and Mengo. Military police have joined the security effort to ensure calm before President Yoweri Museveni visits the tombs later this morning.
The police and military have been divided into groups of three to five and are engaged in foot patrols in the area to prevent the outbreak of violence.