Army Links Opposition Mobilisers to Kasese Clashes

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In short
Brigadier Charles Bakahumura, the director of military intelligence, is reported to have told Members of Parliament that many of Omusinga Mumberes royal guards belong to Power 10 P10, which was a mobilisation group in villages recruited by opposition Forum for Democratic Change FDC during the 2016 elections.

The Chief of Uganda's Military Intelligence, Brigadier Charles Bakahumura, has linked an opposition vote mobilisation group, Power 10 (P10), to recent clashes in Kasese district.

A joint security force launched an offensive on the palace and offices of the Rwenzururu King Charles Wesley Mumbere 10 days ago, which left up to 100 people dead and hundreds of them arrested. The dead included 46 royal guards and 16 police officers as well as civilians.

Mumbere is now on remand in Kirinya Prison after he was arrested together 149 of his guards during the attacks.
 
Brigadier Bakahumura is reported told Members of Parliament that many of Mumbere's royal guards belong to P10, which was a mobilisation group in villages recruited by opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) to protect votes during the 2016 elections. FDC candidate, Dr. Kizza Besigye, was among the six candidates who lost to President Museveni in the elections. The Police at one time termed P10 as a militia.
 
According to sources who attended the over two-hour, closed meeting at Parliament today, Brigadier Bakahumura reportedly stated that as one of the lead agencies that coordinated the offensive on the palace, the intelligence reports they collected on the ground led them to a recruitment drive by the royal guards to join their group.
 
However, the statement from the intelligence chief is reported to have angered a section of MPs on the Defence and Internal Affairs Committee, especially the opposition who accused Bakahumura of trying to mud-sling the FDC, which during the 2016 elections won all parliamentary and district council seats in Kasese.
 
"Some of the opposition MPs asked him to produce evidence to this regard and also desist from dragging party lines into the matter and act professionally and independently," the source reveals.
 
The committee is meeting different security agencies and individuals as part of its extended investigations into the continued Kasese clashes, dating from the post-election violence this year.
 
When pressed to state the actual numbers of people killed in the Kasese clashes, Brigadier Bakahumura reportedly said he was not aware, referring the MPs to the police and the ground commander, Brigadier Peter Elwelu.
 
The committee also interfaced with the former Defence Minister, Dr. Crispus Kiyonga, who reportedly said that only 57 people died, a number that the legislators disputed.
 
Speaking to the media shortly after the closed-door meeting, Kiyonga says there have been several efforts to hold dialogue with Omusinga Mumbere to resolve the impasse to no avail. He reveals that some royal guards who have been in hiding have surrendered to authorities.
 
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Committee chairperson, Judith Nabakooba says they will travel to Kasese on Friday this week, where they will interact with different groups regarding the clashes, including MPs from the area and Brigadier Elwelu, the commander of the attack.
 
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Lwemiyaga County MP, Theodore Ssekikubo says the committee's investigations will focus on finding the root cause of the clashes and hold those involved accountable.

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About the author

Olive Eyotaru
Olive Eyotaru is a URN journalist based in Kampala. Eyotaru has been a URN staff member since February 2015.

Eyotaru started practising journalism while still studying at Uganda Christian University. She was a reporter with Ultimate Media Consult Ltd between 2005 and 2007.

In 2009, Eyotaru joined Monitor Publications Limited, under KFM Radio as a parliamentary and business reporter. Consequently, Eyotaru started writing for the Daily Monitor newspaper until January 2015, when she moved to URN.

She is interested in reporting about politics, health, human rights, business and sports.