Friday, March 19, 2010



Unidentified men drawing pistols on the charging crowd at the Kasubi tombs

By Chris Kiwawulo, Jeff Lule
and Herbert Sempogo
Thursday, 18th March, 2010

The army said yesterday it shot at the mob in self-defence after it tried to block President Yoweri Museveni from reaching the burnt Kasubi tombs on Wednesday.  

Three people were killed and their bodies have not yet been claimed from Mulago Hospital mortuary.

A spokesperson of the Presidential Guard Brigade, Lt. Eddy Candiga, said the forces were provoked. He listed them as the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence, Internal Security Organisation, the Police, Military Police and the Special Forces.

Army spokesperson Felix Kulayigye said: “The people pelted them (security people) with stones, leaving some injured. When soldiers come under a hail of stones, what do you expect them to do?”

He said the plain-clothes man arrested for firing a pistol was also a soldier on the President’s advance team.

“He also shot in self-defence. But I am yet to establish why he was arrested. Investigations are going on,” Kulayigye explained.

He said the soldier was still under arrest. Asked whether other soldiers would be arrested over the shooting, Kulayigye replied: “Why, when they were defending themselves?”

In a separate interview, PGB’s Lt. Candiga said when the angry mob saw vehicles with UC numbers, they immediately started stoning them.”
He said the people behaved as if they were drunk and that the soldiers shot in the air to disperse them, but in vain.

“Our forces (Special Forces) never shot because they were behind all the other forces,” said Candiga.

Police spokesperson Judith Nabakooba said no suspects had been arrested over the attempt to block the President.

She said the injured people admitted at Mulago were casualties unless investigations proved otherwise. She said the Police were investigating the cause of the fire and the shooting.

She identified the dead as Haruna Kakumba, Coloneli Kayanja and Simon Birungi.
Kakumba died of a gunshot wound in the abdomen while Kayanja died of a pelvis injury.

Birungi, 33, of Kasubi, died after he was shot in the chest. He bled heavily before he reached Mulago where he died in the theatre yesterday.

The injured were identified as Kalooli Sserwada of Namungoona, Abdullalitif Sentamu of Kibuli, Patrick Mwanje of Namungoona and Ismail Bugembe of Buziga. Bugembe, 27, was discharged.

Mwanje, 42, said he was shot as he cleaned the debris at the tombs. His wife Maria, who is nursing him, said her husband was shot in the chest. The father of eight was operated upon yesterday.

Sserwada, 32, said he was hit as he walked on Kasubi road. “When I heard the gunshots, I squatted. Two bullets got me in the stomach,” he said after an operation at Mulago yesterday.   

Sentamu, 30, of Katale zone in Mulago, was shot in the right arm.
The bullet was removed from his body yesterday.