PARLIAMENT. The Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI) has linked “Power10 (P10)” a campaign structure for Forum for Democratic Change to recent clashes in Kasese District.
The allegation was made yesterday during a closed-door meeting between the House committee investigating the Kasese clashes and the top leadership of the army.
A reliable member of the committee who attended the meeting but preferred anonymity told Daily Monitor that Brig Charles Bakahumura, the CMI boss told the Defence and Internal Affairs committee that most of the royal guards found at the detained Rwenzururu King Charles Wesley Mumbere’s palace were P10 militia.
The source quoted the CMI chief to have said: “Our findings are that most of the royal guards were recruited from within P10 militia.”
Brig Bakahumura, the source said, however failed to give a clear account of the number of people who died in the clashes.
“He clearly quotes the number of security persons who were killed and injured but asked to give an account from the palace raid, he referred the committee to the Division Commander (Brig Peter Elwelu),” the source said.
The source added that the committee would unlikely get to the truth since the people with the information are unwilling to share it.
The committee chaired by Ms Judith Nabakooba (NRM-Mityana), on Wednesday kicked off investigations into clashes between Kingdom royal guards and the armed forces that left more than 100 people dead, and several others injured.
First to be heard were Brig Bakahumura and Mr Crispus Kiyonga, the former Minister for Defence who lost in the 2016 elections.
“We chose them to get preliminary information regarding the conflict before our field visit’ Ms Nabakooba said.
Brig Bakahumura declined to speak to journalists after appearing before the probe committee.
“This has been a closed session. I am not allowed to divulge information to the media,” he said.
FDC’s national secretary for mobilisation and national coordinator for P10, Ingrid Turinawe, said Brig Bakahumura's comments are pitiable and he is a coward.
“P10 are not royal guards, we have our structures clearly outlined with a database and contacts. Besides, if you are a P10 is it a crime. P10 are FDC and if people in the palace were killed because they are P10 then it is clear FDC was being targeted,” she said.
Daily Monitor phoned and sent messages to the Rwenzururu Kingdom spokesperson, Mr Clarence Bwambale, but he hadn’t replied by press time.
Mr Kiyonga according to the source told the committee that the attack on the Omusinga’s palace was “only inevitable because the king had built an armoury at the palace.”
Although he declined to state the same to journalists, Mr Kiyonga accused the King for failure to heed to calls by President Musveni to disband his royal guards. “Several interventions were made by high ranking neutral forces including the (CDF) Katumba Wamala, Caot Mike Mukula before the President himself talked to the Omusinga, but he remained aloof,” Dr Kiyonga said.
He added that since the matter was already in court, he would not give specifics of his account to the media for fear of sub-judice but he said he was certain justice would prevail.
The bitter exchange
Daily Monitor also learnt that Mr Gilbert Olanyah (FDC-Amuru South), Theodre Sekikubo (NRM-Lwemiyaga) and Mubarak Munyagwa (FDC-Kawempe South) were involved in a bitter exchange with the CMI boss on political grounds.
“They got charged and feared that the allusion to P10 would directly target Kizza Besigye (former FDC Presidential candidate currently battling treason charges) and that would spark more chaos,” the source said.
Mr Olanya acknowledged that the exchange took place because he couldn’t look on as “things were taking a wrong direction.”
“Linking P10 to the royal guards would directly imply linking FDC to a cultural institution and also linking Besigye to the alleged acts of terror,” Olanya told Daily Monitor.
Mr Munyagwa said there was something fishy about the committee, citing its failure to conduct its investigations in an open environment that would grant access to the media.
“If the attacks on the palace were carried out in broad day light, why not allow the media to cover proceedings of the probe committee,” Mr Munyagwa said.
Mr Munyagwa also expressed fear that the committee would not arrive at the final truth.
On the contrary, Ms Nabakooba said she was confident the committee, with the protection of Parliament would dig out every detail and report back to Parliament before the House breaks off for Christmas next week.
The committee resolved to visit Kasese today, where they would engage Brig Elwelu, residents and area politicians.
Key concerns for the committee
• Underlying causes of the conflict
• Circumstances of the deaths
• Total number of causalities including the dead.
• Number of Detainees
• Lasting solutions.