Kingdom Big Says Pres. Museveni Ignored Warning

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[Global: Uganda]

Uganda's president, General Yoweri K. Museveni ignored warnings not to visit so soon after a royal ancestral burial ground for the Buganda monarchy was burned down, a kingdom official says.

The Royal Tombs at Kasubi, holding the remains of Buganda's Kabakas --kings-- including those of the father of Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II, the current Kabaka, were burned to the ground early this week.

General Museveni's bodyguards reportedly opened fire when civilians blocked his motorcade when he travelled to the scene of the suspicious fire, resulting in at least three deaths.

Apollo Makubuya, Buganda’s Attorney General, says "even the Katikkiro had already advised the President not to come at that moment,” as the king's (or Kabaka's) supporters were still enraged and in mourning after the royal Tombs at Kasubi had been burned down. The Katikkiro refers to the Buganda prime minister.

According to Makubuya, there were exhaustive discussions within the Buganda Government about Gen. Museveni’s visit to the wrecked UNESCO-recognized World Heritage Site.

When Gen. Museveni decided to still make the trip, angry Buganda Kingdom loyalists, wailing and shouting in anger, tried to stop his motorcade and threw stones at its advance cars and erected human roadblocks. Museveni’s Presidential Guard Brigade (PGB) that accompanies him everywhere, and is commanded by his son, opened fire.

“I was there in person; I had studied the situation and the mood of people," Makubuya added. He said he also spoke with Moses Sakira, Uganda’s deputy director of Criminal Investigation Department (CID)  about the volatility and advised against a presidential visit. "The reasons why they insisted to get there are [only] known to themselves.”

“This was not time for joy; it was mourning and people were not in a good mood. That is exactly what I told Sakira and several journalists who approached me for a comment.”

In an earlier interview the Uganda Army's spokesman Maj. Felix Kulaigye blamed the people who tried to block Gen. Museveni's motorcade. “Thank God they were professional otherwise many people would have lost their lives,” Kulaigye said, referring to the security personnel.

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