Monday September 1 2014

Rwenzori clashes: I shot the attackers-witness

Rwenzori attacks suspects appear before the

Rwenzori attacks suspects appear before the court martial. File Photo 

By Ruth Katusabe

A prosecution witness who appeared before the UPDF General Court Martial which sat at Bundibugyo district headquarters on Friday said he got a gun from a policeman and shot dead one of the attackers and injured several others before arresting them on July 5th 2014.

Mr Atingiya Yasin, 29, a resident of Bundibhwada village in Bundibugyo town council told court presided over by Maj Gen Levi Karuhanga.said that he is an informer in the office of the Bundibugyo District Internal Security Officer (DISO).

He appeared as the second prosecution witness on the second day of hearing of the trial of 125 accused persons charged in connection with the attacks that rocked the Rwenzori region.

Mr Atingiya who testified in Luganda said he was abducted by the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) rebels from Bundibugyo in 1999 and spent three years with the group before eventually managing to escape in 2003.

He told court that while there, he learnt how to operate guns and conduct some operations.

“When I heard gun shots coming from the direction of the police station, I immediately moved from town and met policemen who were responding to the attack. One of them handed over his gun to me, and I used my military skills, we advanced, taking cover and when I located one the attackers who were shooting at us I shot him dead,” he said.

He said one of the attackers tried to retrieve a gun from the one who was shot.
“I shot him too and he dropped it. We later arrested him along with several others, some of whom had been injured,” Mr Atingiya narrated to court.

He further told court that the attackers were dressed in civilian attire, comprising canvas shoes and tracksuits and had herbs wrapped around their heads.

Asked whether he knew the names of the people he arrested, he said he could only remember Ngwengwe Wilson and Tumugabe Obadiah alias Kinyerere. Ngwengwe and Kinyerere are accused No.94 and 110 respectively on the charge sheet.

Kinyerere, 40, was the Head teacher of Kasulenge Primary school, in Bundibugyo Town Council.

However, the witness could not be cross examined by the defense lawyer because court adjourned to deliberate on an issue submitted by prosecution, asking court to allow the witness to identify those he claimed he knew by physical appearance and not by name.

Obusinga Bwa Rwenzururu (OBR) Deputy Prime Minister, Yeremia Mutooro, Veteran Affairs Minister Misairi Mukwenda and Ntoroko District Information Officer Mr Baluku Ibrahim Sahula were among the sixty suspects charged before the UPDF General Court Martial.

They are charged in connection with the 5th July attacks in Bundibugyo and Ntoroko District.

The trio alongside their 57 co-accused denied all the charges of unlawful acquisition of Firearms, contrary Section 3 (1) and (2) (a) of the Fire Arms Act Cap 299, unlawful acquisition of Ammunition Contrary to Section 3(1),(3) &(4) of the Firearms Act Cap 299 and Offences Relating to Guard Duties contrary to Section 131 (1) of the UPDF Act No.7 of 2005.

They were remanded to Katojo Prison until October, 20 2014 when they will re - appear for mention of their cases.

About 103 suspects have so far been charged and entered plea before the army court martial which has been sitting at the District Headquarters since July 15.