Friday July 11 2014

Rwenzori suspected attackers face treason charges

Some of the suspected attackers being paraded

Some of the suspected attackers being paraded at Bundibugyo Central Police Station. FILE PHOTO 

By Job Bwire

The 113 people who were arrested in connection with Bundibujyo, Kasese attacks that left over 90 people dead face treason charges, according to police.

The police spokesperson, Mr Fred Enanga said on Friday that the suspects who are still in police custody include the top Rwenzururu Kingdom officials like the Premier Mr Noah Nzaghale; the kingdom’s deputy premier, Mr Yeremiya Mutooro; Mr Kule Isebayanda, the chairperson of the Rwenzururu youth wing; Mr Mberamu Erisania, the minister for Tourism and Mr Yoramu Mulema, the chairperson of Rwenzururu war veterans and the chief adviser to the Omusinga (King) on security matters.
“All the files of the suspects are in their advanced stage and awaiting the advice of the Director for Public Prosecution (DPP). They will be arraigned in court today (Friday) or early next week on charges of treason and concealing treason,” said Mr Enanga, adding,“They have all recorded statements indicating that they had a hand in the attacks.”  
However, Mr Enanga dismissed rumours that police intend to arrest the Rwenzururu king, Charles Wisley Mumbere.
“But if our investigations reveal that he (Omusinga Mumbere) was also involved in the attacks, then the law will take its course,” explained Mr Enanga.
Meanwhile, Enanga said two more people, including the minister of information and another person who allegedly helped the attackers to procure a witchdoctor from Democratic Republic of Congo have been arrested and detained at Kasese Central police station. 
The minister’s arrest on Friday morning brings to six the number of kingdom officials in detention as the hunt for attackers in what has been described as tribal clashes between the Basongora and Bamba, continues and investigation for the cause expands.
Speaking to Parliament on Thursday, the minister of defence, Dr Crispus Kiyonga blamed the attacks on land and economic inequality, adding that they were fuelled by witchcraft.
“....investigations are on and many people including the attackers who were captured alive are being interrogated… To have a situation in the country where people still think that witchcraft can protect them from bullets and therefore daringly attack an army barracks, is a clear indication of the long road we still have to travel to achieve socio-economic transformation,” Dr Kiyonga said.