Dead passenger in Mpigi bus explosion was terrorist, says Museveni

The bus on which an explosion killed two people in Mpigi District on October 25, 2021 . PHOTO/ BRIAN ADAMS KESIIME

President Museveni said Tuesday that a 23-year-old man who died in an explosion on a bus in Mpigi District was a terrorist.

Isaac Matovu, a resident of Kamuli A Zone in Kireka, Wakiso District died in an explosion on a bus belonging to Swift Safaris Bus Company at Lungala, along the Kampala-Masaka highway.
“This is to inform you that the person who died in the Ishaka - bound bus yesterday, was a terrorist (mutujju) by the names of Muzafala, but also calling himself Isaac Matovu,” President Museveni tweeted.

Matovu was in accompany of another suspected terrorist who disembarked the bus at Maya village, according to police.

“The other suspected terrorist who was in Matovu’s company disembarked the bus after telling the driver and conductor that he had to process some travel documents for his trip outside Uganda. We are hunting for him,” police spokesperson, Mr Enanga Enanga told journalists in Kampala.
The bus was transporting 52 passengers from Kampala to Ishaka in Bushenyi District. Police said 50 of the passengers survived unhurt.

According to police, Matovu alias Mustapha alias Muzafala has been on the watch list of Anti-Terrorism Task Force commonly known as JATT.

“We found a detonator, ball bearings and some wires on his seat after the explosion,” Mr Enanga said moments before President Museveni tweeted saying he (Matovu) was part of the Pader group that had allegedly been sent by ADF to blow up mourners during the funeral of the late deputy IGP Maj. Gen Paul Lokech’s funeral.

“One of them, by the names of Katumba Abdu, was arrested in a Pader hotel with his bomb-making equipment – he has been brought to court. His collaborator, by the names of Nsubuga Hamid fled from Pader to Kampala, where he was killed by the CMI operatives while resisting arrest. The killing of Nsubuga, the arrest of Katumba, plus the killing of Lubwama Hussein and others that were involved in the attack of [Works minister Gen Edward] Katumba and the arrest of Walusimbi Kamada, and five others that were also involved in the attack of Katumba has enabled Police and CMI, to arrest a large number of suspected operatives of ADF. Arresting or killing these suspected criminals, led to the hunt for Muzafala and others who are still on the run in Uganda and outside,” Mr Museveni added in a Tuesday afternoon tweet. 

Mr Museveni,howver, said CMI are still investigating whether Matovu blew himself up accidentally while carrying the bomb on his lap or he did so deliberately.

"We shall get all of them. The breakthrough followed the attack on Katumba.  That is when full accountability for the ADF criminals irreversibly started and their impunity ended in the phase of urban terrorism. The defeat of their rural terrorism was in 2007 in the Semliki National Park. The present shallow effort is easy to defeat.  Just some vigilance by the people e.g. checks at the hotels, churches, mosques or buses, etc., will immunize these gathering points against these bombs. The Police will put out guide lines.  We are following all the other shallow schemes that will be similarly defeated. The injuring of some Ugandans in the bus is much regretted," Mr Museveni added.

The bus explosion happened just hours after the Islamic State (IS) group on Monday claimed responsibility for a deadly weekend bombing at a pork joint in Komamboga, a northern suburb of the capital, Kampala that police called an 'act of domestic terrorism.'

Investigators said a 20-year-old woman was killed and three others injured in a blast at a popular roadside eatery in northern Kampala on Saturday evening.
Police said the crude bomb left underneath a table indicated the work of an unsophisticated local outfit, and played down any connection to foreign networks.
However in a message sent via its communication channels, the Islamic State's Central Africa Province said it carried out the attack, and claimed it killed two people and injured five.

"A security detachment from the soldiers of the Caliphate was able to detonate an explosive device inside a tavern in which elements and spies for the Crusader Ugandan army were gathered," read part of the statement quoted by the SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors militant communications.
On October 8, IS claimed its first attack in Uganda, alleging a unit from the same Central Africa operation bombed a police post in Kampala that resulted in injuries.

No explosion or any injuries were reported by authorities or local media at the time, though police later confirmed a minor incident had occurred without providing further details.
However, in the following days, both Britain and France updated their travel advice, saying terrorists were "very likely to try and carry out attacks in Uganda" and urging vigilance in crowded areas.
In 2010, twin bombings in Kampala targeting fans watching the World Cup final left 76 people dead.
Somalia's Al-Shabaab militant group claimed responsibility for the blasts at a restaurant and at a rugby club.

The attack, the first outside Somalia by Al-Shabaab, was seen as revenge for Uganda sending troops to the war-torn country as part of an African Union mission to confront the insurgents.
President Yoweri Museveni on Sunday vowed that those responsible for the latest attack would be caught and expressed condolences to those killed and injured.