Crime

Kawuma Death: Museveni says Opposition Protests Infiltrated by Gunmen

President Museveni has broken silence on the death of Yasin Kawuma, a driver for opposition Member of Parliament, Robert Kyagulanyi, also known as Bobi Wine, on the evening of 13 August 2018.

Kawuma succumbed to bullet wounds on the last day of campaigning ahead of the Arua municipality parliamentary by-election scheduled for 15 August 2018.

The Ugandan police said then that Yasin Kawuma was killed by a “stray bullet” as police officers tried to control clashes between supporters of another opposition politician and a member of the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party in northern Uganda.

Bobi Wine accused the Presidential guards of deliberately killing Kawuma, saying the soldiers wanted to take his (Bobi) life.

But in a statement issued today, Museveni shed light on the incident, saying Kawuma’s death was “mysterious.”

Museveni said MP Zaake and a few others are a misguided group being used by some foreigners to destabilize Uganda and for many months now.

“You remember their actions in Parliament when they jumped on tables, tore away the microphones of Parliament, beat others. In Arua, they stoned my vehicle and attacked NRM supporters who were coming from my rally,” he narrated.

“They had even driven a road grader (tinga tinga) all the way from Kampala, I think, to use in ramming our vehicles (kutomera).”

Museveni said the SFC soldiers in a “disciplined way delivered me to the helicopter first and went looking for the ring-leaders – Bobi Wine, Zaake and others. Eventually, they found them in a hotel. These wonderful gentlemen tried to assault our soldiers with punches.”

“The soldiers punched them back until they subdued them. It is very impressive that the soldiers never used guns against Bobi Wine and Zaake in the hotel rooms where they were making a fool of themselves trying to box soldiers as if they were boxing village thieves.

One person died outside the hotel in mysterious circumstances.”

Museveni appeared to attribute Kawuma’s death to assassins who had previously ambushed and killed several high profile citizens.

“These groups have been in collusion with foreign enemies to infiltrate groups with guns to kill demonstrators and say that Government is the one killing them. We are patiently following up those. You remember the piki piki riding killers that killed Abiriga, Kirumira, Kiggundu etc.? We have defeated them and we shall unearth them,” said the President.

In 2018, Amnesty International said Ugandan authorities must immediately launch a thorough, independent and impartial investigation, including appropriate forensic investigations, into how Kawuma was killed with a shot to his head.

“The authorities must also ensure that police do not use excessive force when policing public rallies. The unlawful use of firearms in public gatherings, including political campaign rallies, should be properly investigated and stopped,” said the international group.

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