Mbabazi Apologises to Kichwamba Massacre Victims Top story


In short
Independent presidential candidate Amama Mbabazi says its a shame that the government has failed to compensate the families and survivors of the Kichwamba attack for all these years.

Independent presidential candidate Amama Mbabazi has promised to compensate Kichwamba Massacre victims. On June 8, 1998, Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) rebels raided Uganda Technical College Kichwamba in Kabarole district and burnt 80 students to death in three dormitories. The rebels also abducted more than 100 students. 

After the incident, President Yoweri Museveni visited the school and promised to compensate the survivors and the families of the other victims. He also promised to take back the survivors to school.

However, 17 years down the road, some of the survivors are yet to receive compensation. Last year during the commemoration the 16th anniversary of the attack, some of the survivors accused government of neglect. 

Independent presidential candidate Amama Mbabazi says it's a shame that the government has failed to compensate the families and survivors of the Kichwamba attack for all these years. 

Mbabazi apologised to the survivors and their families in Tuesday during campaign rally at Boma Grounds in Fort portal over government's failure to compensate them during his tenure as prime minister.

"One of the issues in Tooro that I will address immediately you elect me president is to compensate all the families and survivors who were affected by the killings of the ADF at Kichwamba Technical College. I am sorry I left the government before the victims were compensated," Mbabazi said amidst cheers from the crowd.

James Bagonza, one of the survivors has welcomed Mbabazi's promise to compensate them adding that he had given up on the matter.
He explains that the survivors have been sidelined by government, which is instead compensating the rebels who were granted amnesty. 

Bagonza says that following failure by the government to compensate the survivors, he was forced into casual employment to raise money and return to school.

 //Cue in: "they told us…
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During the rally, Steven Kaliba, the former Tooro Kingdom premier gave Mbabazi Empaako or pet-name, Ateenyi, much to the excitement of his supporters.  

Mbabazi's speech was often disrupted by the poor public address system. He at some point jokingly told his supporters that it was the work of the NRM party supporters who want to sabotage his rally.   

However some residents URN spoke to said that Mbabazi failed to talk about the return of the kingdom's assets. Francis Musinguzi, a resident of Fort Portal says that government has several times promised to return chunks of land and buildings, but in vain. 

Musinguzi says if they are returned, the kingdom can rent them out and get income to sustain its activities and improve its financial base.


About the author

Emmanuel Kajubu
Emmanuel Kajubu is proud to have been the first Ugandan journalist to write in depth pieces about the Tooro Kingdom institution. His knowledge of the inner workings of the Tooro Kingdom is what made him privy to the splits in the royal family. These splits almost challenged Tooro Omukama Oyo Nyimba Iguru's reign.

Culture, agriculture and the environment are just two areas of many of interest to Kajubu. As long as he has held a pen, Kajubu has also written about public policy, health and crime.

Kajubu is keen on impacting his society not just as a writer but also a trainer and mentor. Bundibugyo and Ntoroko districts fall under his docket. Kajubu has been a URN staff member since 2008.