Water in Kasese municipality has been reconnected after tests carried out showed there wasn't any trace of poison. The water was disconnected by NWSC staff after police reports that it had been poisoned by enemies of the Bakonzo and Rwenzururu Kingdom.
The National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC) staff disconnected the water at 6:30am on Tuesday, after unknown people reportedly moved around the municipality telling locals not to use what they called poison-laced water.
The rumors originated from residents of Kidondo Suburb in Kasese Municipality, who said that unknown people were moving around the suburb telling the residents that water had been poisoned by ‘enemies’ of the Bakonzo community.
In a telephone interview with Uganda Radio Network, Stanley Kamugisa said that samples of the water was tested and found the water fit for consumption. The water in the town has now been reconnected.
Michael Musani Sabila, the Kasese District Police Commander, says that despite the false rumours, the police will take not any chances. He says that police has been deployed at the main water plant in Kasese town.
The poison scare came at a time of heightened ethnic tensions between the Bakonzo and Bamba, after Rwenzururu King, Charles Wesley Mumbere, was blocked from traveling to Bundibugyo for the kingdom’s annual peace event.
On Saturday, the Inspector General of Police, General Kale Kayihura announced that government had stopped Mumbere from travelling to Bundibugyo, where the Bamba had accused him of trying to impose himself on them. Mumbere, a Mukonzo, accused government of using the police to promote the interests of the Bamba and Basongora, who oppose his kingdom.
In June last year, a similar visit resulted into ethnic clashes leaving at least 400 people displaced. A few days later, the Basongora installed their own cultural leader, Ivan Bwebale Rutakirwa, saying that they do not belong to the Rwenzururu Kingdom. Rutakirwa was set to celebrate his first coronation anniversary this week but the function was blocked by the police.
The Bamba are also in the process of installing Major Martin Kamya, a Ugandan army serving officer, as their cultural leader. Kamya, who has been attached to 3rd infantry Division of the UPDF, was early this year allowed to retire in order for him to be installed as Bamba cultural leader.