September riots: Otunnu and Muliika call for mass mourning

Friday September 10 2010

COMMON CAUSE: Mr Muliika (R) and Mr Otunnu

COMMON CAUSE: Mr Muliika (R) and Mr Otunnu address journalists in Kampala yesterday. PHOTO BY ISAAC KASAMANI 

By Richard Wanambwa & Isaac Khisa

Uganda Peoples Congress (UPC) leader Olara Otunnu and former Buganda Kingdom prime minister Dan Muliika say the nation should today mourn for “all Ugandans who have perished under unclear circumstances”.
Mr Otunnu said the declaration coincides with the first anniversary of the September 10th Buganda riots, where at least 26 people were killed as they protested a government move to block Kabaka Mutebi from visiting Kayunga District.

“More than 30 people were massacred on that day and that is why we want to remember them tomorrow (today), but this is not limited to those who died last year but all those who died elsewhere like Luweero, Ombachi and Mukura,” Mr Otunnu told journalists in Kampala yesterday.

Last year, violence gripped Kampala and neighbouring districts when the government blocked Katikkiro JB Walusimbi from accessing Kayunga as part of the Kabaka’s advance party ahead of Buganda Youth Day celebrations.

The stand-off began when the government argued that the Kabaka needed to seek permission of the Banyala, a tribe in Kayunga District that sought secession from Buganda. Their leader, Capt. Baker Kimeze, had indicated that the Kabaka was not welcome.

In the resultant chaos, where over 20 people were killed largely by state security agents, several radio stations, including the kingdom’s mouthpiece, CBS, were closed.

Mr Muliika said the victims killed through extra-judicial means, would be honoured across the country with people sounding drums at 8am.
“We are not partisan and that is why I am here with Mr Otunnu. We are to express our concern about lack of peace, love and justice and when this is lacking, all atrocities come up,” said Mr Muliika.

“And once all the three are missing, all regimes will mess up and this is why you see what is happening at Namboole because there is no ideology but rather individual interests. All Ugandans should sound drums as it is in most cultures to remember those who were killed.”

There were chaotic scenes at Namboole stadium on Tuesday night as elections for NRM party officials were disrupted, forcing the police to spray teargas to restore order.

In the Saturday Monitor tomorrow, get a detailed analysis of the first anniversary of the September riots.

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