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Kadaga gives govt one day to explain Rwenzori attacks

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By YASIIN MUGERWA

Posted  Thursday, July 10  2014 at  01:00
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PARLIAMENT.
As normalcy returns to the troubled districts of Kasese and Bundibugyo, where 90 people have so far been confirmed dead, government yesterday appeared to be struggling to reconstruct events in order to explain the “massacre”.

But in the mist of intelligence failures confirmed by the President in a statement on Tuesday, Speaker Rebecca Kadaga yesterday gave the Leader of Government Business, Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi ,24 hours within which to present a statement to Parliament, explaining “what’s going on” in the districts of Kasese and Bundibugyo.

Responding to concerns from Mr Hassan Kaps Fungaroo (FDC, Obongi) and other members, who had demanded that the government explains the deaths, the Prime Minister who was not in the House on Tuesday because he was in a special Cabinet meeting, begged the indulgence of the House for failure to present the statement as expected.

“I concur with my colleagues who have alluded to the gravity of what is happening in Kasese and Bundibugyo,” Mr Mbabazi said. “The government is paying maximum attention to the situation in [western Uganda] but we are unable to prepare the statement.” He added: “We request that we present a comprehensive statement on Kasese and Bundibigyo tomorrow.”

Lawmakers across the political spectrum were insisting that the premier explains the security situation in western Uganda because of the urgency of the matter,
Inspector General of Police Kale Kayihura has since described the killing of Basongora pastoralists by attackers suspected to be Bakonzo as a massacre.
The President on Tuesday broke his silence, blaming intelligence agencies, specifically the Internal Security Organisation for failure to detect and thwart the attacks have so far left more than 90 people, including eight members of security forces, dead.

In keeping with the President’s statement blaming the proponents of the Rwenzururu Kingdom for masterminding the tensions prior to the attacks, the defence Minister’s statement to Parliament today is however, expected to recap this narrative. It is expected that the lawmakers will question how the attackers had evaded intelligence agencies and further demand that the people who lost their relatives be compensated.

However, Opposition MPs rejected the official narrative blaming the bloody attacks on a simmering tribal conflict between Bakonzo, the majority ethnic tribe in the area and Basongora, the minority. They have demanded that the government explains the attack on government installations and without evidence alleged that these could be a handiwork of the remnants of ADF rebels.

ymugerwa@ug.nationmedia.com