By Mary Asujo
A section of legislators from Kasese District have urged government to withdraw the Rwenzori medal that was awarded to the Deputy Commander Defense Forces Lt. General Peter Elwelu.
The National Honours and Awards Committee usually give this medal to distinguish or exemplary military officers.
While appearing before Parliament’s Human Rights Committee, Bukonjo West MP Atkins Katusabe said that Elwelu was given this medal in error considering his role in the 2016 raid on Omusinga Charles Wesley Mumbere’s palace which claimed 100 innocent citizens.
In November 2016, the military attacked the defiant Rwenzururu kingdom administration offices and the palace compound killing more than 100 people.
A report by the Human Rights Watch-HRW in 2017 said 153 people including children perished. The parliamentary committee is currently receiving views from witnesses nationwide on allegations of gross Human Rights violations in Uganda.
In the 2016 UPDF raid on the palace, Omusinga Charles Wesley Mumbere and more than 100 royal guards were arrested. Many spent more than four years in detention, until recently when they were granted bail.
A year later in January 2017, then Brigadier Peter Elweru was promoted to Maj. General and appointed commander of Land Forces. In May 2017, Elweru was given a Rwenzori star medal, the third highest decoration awarded for distinguished or exemplary military service including great responsibility in military service. In February 2019, he was again promoted from Major General to Lieutenant General and recently named a UPDF representative in parliament.
Katusabe said that they want General Elwelu also stripped in rank and removed from parliament as a punishment and then prosecuted.
The Committee members resolved to find a day to go to prisons and visit the inmates who were allegedly denied of medical treatment.