Ex-Army Officer: Kayiira Murder Motive

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While the Ugandan government under President Yoweri Museveni has steadfastly denied for years that it had any role in the murder of ex-Energy Minister, Dr. Lutakome Andrew Kayiira, a former officer in the Uganda army has written and spoken about a motive.

The officer says Dr. Kayiira, was killed after letting it be known that he was planning to quiz President Museveni over the deaths of hundreds of soldiers that had joined the NRA from his (Kayiira’s) Uganda Freedom Army (UFA).

Major Twaha Mukiibi 48, (Retired) who has lived in the United Kingdom since 1990, says Dr. Kayiira’s assassination while a guest at my house in Kampala, came shortly after the killing of hundreds of soldiers who had been ordered by Kayiira to join the NRA. Kayiira had reasoned that since he, as leader of the UFA was now in the government of national unity, there was no need for there being any other army other than the National Resistance Army (NRA).

Kayiira’s belief in this type of government was torn to shreds when he was arrested and charged with treason for allegedly trying to over throw the very government he was serving.

On his release from prison for lack of evidence, Dr. Kayiira made it known that he was planning to seek an explanation from President Museveni over the killing of more than 300 soldiers while in transit from their base in Kitgum, Northern Uganda to Mbale, 100 miles East of Uganda. The UFA had been integrated as the NRA’s 35 Battalion.

Soon after his release from prison, says Maj. Mukiibi, Dr. Kayiira was planning to seek an explanation from President Museveni about the fate of those soldiers. “I know that Museveni did not have the answers Dr. Kayiira wanted. He (Museveni) knew that if Dr. Kayiira gets [sic] out of the country; Museveni would be exposed to the wider world for being a mass murderer. That is the main reason why Dr. Kayiira had to be stopped,” writes Mukiibi on his website (www.twahamukiibi.com).

Maj. Mukiibi’s revelation comes at a time when President Museveni is fighting off attempts by the opposition Democratic Party (DP), one of Uganda’s longest surviving political parties, to force the Uganda government to reveal the contents of a report by Britain’s elite police force, Scotland Yard, into their investigations of this murder.

In the last couple of weeks, the DP has come out with what it calls “the genuine” Scotland Yard report which suggests the Ugandan army had been involved in Dr. Kayiira’s murder. After initially saying it had lost a report given to it by Scotland Yard in 1987, the Uganda government has recently claimed to have got another copy of the report which suggests the killing could have been a botched robbery.

Maj. Mukiibi is widely known in Kampala, the Uganda capital, for having saved the lives of thousands of Kampala residents who flocked to an area he was commanding at Gaba, near Kampala, when rampaging soldiers of Gen. Tito Okello went about massacring people as Gen. Okello’s reign of six months was coming to an abrupt end. Mukiibi ordered all civilians to converge in one area on the shores of Lake Victoria as he put his soldiers to man roadblocks that made it impossible for Okello’s soldiers to get anywhere near the panicking civilians.

While being transported from their base in Kitgum, about 450 members of the 35th Battalion were parked like sardines in metal containers pulled by railway wagons. By the time their journey ended in Mbale, barely 100 were still alive. This sad story was told by many local and foreign newspapers at the time, but to date, as is the case with Dr. Kayiira’s killing, no one has been brought to justice for this heinous crime.

“As a former officer and member of the UFM high command,” Maj Mukiibi explains, “I am one 100% sure that Dr. Kayiira was killed on orders of the president of Uganda, Yoweri Museveni. The behavior of the NRA towards us in UFM was very hostile from the day they (the NRA) entered Kampala to the day they killed Dr. Kayiira. Before the final bullet was put into Dr. Kayiira’s body, thousands of his troops had already been silenced either by being killed or by being locked up in prisons around the country as it was in my case at Kiburara prison farm (this writer witnessed this while on a tour of western Uganda with the late Dr. Kayiira). The last word I can say on this case is that Dr. Kayiira was not killed by Gombya nor was he killed by the so-called rogue elements within the UFM. UFM never killed Dr. Kayiira; he was killed by those who took him as a threat to their political survival- namely Museveni and his government.”

Maj Mukiibi’s revelations follow those made last week in a Ugandan English daily, the Monitor, in which a serving corporal in the UPDF revealed he was one of 33 soldiers sent by the Uganda government to attack the house where Kayiira was staying. It also follows another report in which a retired Uganda police officer said he believed the Kayiira killing had been carried out by Ugandan soldiers. The police officer said he was head of a police dog section that followed the attacker’s scent from the murder scene to Lubiri army barracks nearby.

President Museveni has been quoted as saying he or his government played no role in the killing of Dr. Kayiira. But suspicions have been raised as to why, for 20 years, the Museveni government has failed to reveal the outcome of the Scotland Yard investigation. Uganda is due to host for the first time since its independence from Britain in 1962, the prestigious Commonwealth Heads of State and Government Summit (CHOGM).

It will be opened by her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in her capacity as head of the Commonwealth.


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