Ex-Minister Kiyonga: Dialogue With Rwenzururu Kingdom Failed
Former Minister of Defence, Dr. Crispus Kiyonga has said the attacks on the Rwenzururu palace would have been avoided if the kingdom officials had heeded to calls for peace.
Kiyonga, while speaking to journalists at Parliament on December 7, 2016, said efforts by President Yoweri Museveni to engage the Omusinga of Rwenzururu, Charles Wesley Mumbere for years to dissuade his people to desist from violent acts in the district have been futile.
“Since April, the President has been engaging the King and dissuading him from building up this militia. So it was really being patient with the perpetrators of these royal guards that determined the time finally when government decided to act,” Kiyonga said.
Kiyonga said apart from President Museveni, Commander of Defence Forces (CDF), General Katumba Wamala, Inspector General of Police, General Kale Kayihura, as well as NRM Vice Chairperson, Eastern; Captain Mike Mukula also held separate talks and negotiations with Mumbere over the same matter.
“A lot of efforts were put to put and try to forestall this clash,” Kiyonga, who is the former Bukonzo West MP, said.
He revealed that calls have been put out to some of the royal guards who are in hiding to surrender to the local leaders. He said business is slowly getting back to normal.
“We must get at the bottom of these issues and resolve it once and for all,” the former minister stated.
Kiyonga was speaking shortly after appearing before the committee, which is currently investigating the recent clashes in Kasese, which left over 100 people dead and scores arrested. King Mumbere was recently arraigned in court and charged with murder of a police officer in March this year, during post elections clashes.
The committee, which held a closed meeting without media presence, started its probe into the November 27, 2016 clashes after Parliament directed it to include its findings to a report it has finalized on the March clashes.
According to committee chairperson, Judith Nabakooba (Mityana Woman MP), the MPs will travel to Kasese on Friday this week to meet with different stakeholders as part of its investigations.
“We are meeting basically the strategic leaders; those we think can give us information in Kasese, including the MPs. In Kampala, we are meeting security chiefs,” Nabakooba said.
The committee earlier met Brigadier Charles Bakahumura, Director of Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI) who failed to give concrete information to the committee regarding the number of people who died following the clashes.