Uganda Leader, Besigye, Assails Gen. Museveni for Kasese "Massacre"

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Uganda leader Besigye

[Comment]

What happened in Kasese was tragic and unfortunate. It was clearly a massacre; which constitutes a crime against the people of Kasese and Uganda in general.

Surely the clashes in Kasese, the attack on the Obusinga Bwa Rwenzururu palace could have been avoided.

The truth is that the people of Rwenzori region have been marginalized for so long. Even during colonial times, the Banyarwenzururu people were marginalized by the British and Toro Kingdom. When people feel marginalized, they inherently raise up to demand for what belongs to them. They fought against the British and fought against Toro Kingdom.

The lies associated with the Banyarwenzururu struggles are sickening. This claim for Nyira Republic has existed even before Uganda became a republic. So it is not new. It should not be a justification for killing people looking for cultural identity.

Secondly, there is a problem of land. Land distribution in Kasese has been mishandled where indigenous people feel that there land has been taken away from them. Land is thei source of livelihood.

The other problem is political. Kasese has traditionally been against the political establishments because all governments have marginalized them. For this recent crisis, NRM is to blame.

It was wiped out of Kasese. The NRM district and national leadership is wounded. Defeated NRM leaders like Chrispus Kiyonga and Mawa Muhindo have had an intensified blackmail campaign against the people of Kasese for overwhelmingly supporting FDC.

There are also political contestations that aim at breaking the district into small districts. The proposal has been politically challenged.

You can never resolve political disputes using force. Political contestations are resolved through dialogue.

So what happened at the palace was uncalled for. Why attack a palace when you could have kept the palace under siege, if there was any reason to impose their military might on the guards? This method has been used all over the world. Even town and cities are besieged, why should armed forces attack a palace and kill everybody inside the palace walls?

What happened was regrettable. Mr.. Museveni takes the blame for what happened. The problem with Mr.. Museveni is self ego - trying to prove he is the Ssabagabe (King of Kings).

What needs to be done is resolve this matter through meaningful dialogue. The state is a suspect and therefore Uganda needs an independent inquiry to see that justice is done. Those accused of committing crimes against the people of Kasese cannot investigate themselves. We need an independent inquiry to establish why hundreds of people were murdered in cold blood.

Dr. Kizza Besigye is widely believed to have won February's presidential election.

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