Buganda MPs ask Mengo to reject Gov’t apology for teargassing Clan meeting

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Buganda MPs: Hon Latif Sebaggala, Hon Sewungu Gonzaga and Sempala Kigozi; Sabasaba Photo

Members of Buganda Parliamentary Caucus have asked the Mengo government to reject the apology from the central government over a recent incident when security fired teargas into a clan meeting.

On Saturday last week, police used teargas to disperse Buganda Kingdom’s Mbogo Clan members who had convened at their ancestral site at Mugulu – Ziggoti Town Council to attend a thanks giving prayer for their leader, Mr. Gajuule Kayiira.

The act has since attracted sharp criticism from Baganda Kingdom forcing the the central government to send emissaries to apologize to Mengo and the Catholic Church for the unfortunate incident.

The two police officers who commanded the operation; Bob Kagarura (the Wamala Regional Police Commander where Mityana falls) was transferred to Bukedi North whereas the Mityana District Police Commander, Alex Mwine was sent to Hoima.

In a press conference held on Friday, Buganda MPs including Hon. Gonzaga Sewungu, Latif Sebaggala and Emmanuel Sempala Kigozi have said the transfer of errant police officers without interdiction orders is a clear indicator that the central government does not respect traditional leaders.

The MPs have asked Mengo to reject the apology claiming it was cosmetic. They accused the central government of hypocrisy and that the central government duped Mengo because the transfer does not tantamount to punishment.

“We are calling upon the Buganda Kingdom to categorically come out and reject the apology and tell government that he officers should have faced the full course of the law not transferring them. Transferring them means government has appreciated what they did and rewarded them” Hon. Sebaggala said.

The MPs claim the act of transferring the officers without reprimanding them shows that they were taking orders from “higher authorities.”

The MPs also associated the conduct of the two officers with their ethnicity having not appreciated the cultural norms of the community in which they were serving. The MPs contend that if the officers were Baganda, they wouldn’t have acted the way they did.

“This shows that government does not respect our cultural norms and it is high time we went for federo arrangement.

If the officers were acting on their own, they must be demoted, put in prison and answer for their actions. If they didn’t

“May be it is a time to strongly push for federo. I don’t expect a DPC called Sekitto, Mugalu or Sempala to do this. May be they do not know the norms of Buganda and they think it is a joke” Sempala Kigozi said.

On Wednesday, the senior police directors led by the Chief Political Commissar, AIGP Asan Kasingye visited the Buganda Katikkiro and retired Masaka Diocese Bishop, John Baptist Kaggwa and extended the force’s apology.

In his speech, Katikkiro Mayiga applauded the gesture but urged police and the army to handle matters of culture with utmost respect and caution.

Police earlier noted that the teargas was not intendedly fired at the congregants in the clan meeting but to rowdy youths who had insisted on accessing the venue without police’s approval. police said the gas spread to the venue where the bishop was holding the mass.

Police spokesperson CP Fred Enanga explained that whereas they left the function to continue, politicians who came in with a swarm of supporters who included boda boda riders continued to flock and efforts to stop them fell on deaf ears, prompting them to fire teargas to disperse them.

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