Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Minister of Internal Affairs Gen. Jeje Odongo has been directed to present a statement on the floor of parliament in regard to the incident where police officers fired teargas and dispersed a meeting by members of Buganda Kingdom’s Mbogo Clan.
Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga made the directive on Tuesday afternoon following a matter of national importance raised by Mityana Municipality MP Francis Zaake. The victims of the teargas included Mityana Catholic Bishop Emeritus John Baptist Kaggwa.
On Saturday, police in Mityana district used teargas to disperse members of the Mbogo Clan who had convened at their ancestral site at Mugulu-Ziggoti town council to attend thanksgiving prayers for their leader, Elder Gajuule Kayiira Kasibante.
Kasibante served as head of Buganda’s 52 clans for seven years until recently when the Kabaka Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II replaced him with Omutaka Namwama Augustine Nsereko. The mass was led by retired Masaka Diocesan Bishop John Baptist Kaggwa, but the function was later disrupted by police and military officers who fired teargas to block more people from accessing the venue. In the ensuing melee, some elderly persons fainted after inhaling teargas.
Zaake told parliament that the elders had observed all the Covid-19 standard operating procedures but police officers went ahead to rudely disperse them with teargas.
He said that Parliament needed to condemn the act and also call for the suspension of the Mityana District Police Commander (DPC) Alex Mwine who he said has severally been involved in the violation of human rights.
Kadaga then directed that the Minister of Internal Affairs appears with an explanation for the incident.
Yesterday, the Uganda Police Force-UPF apologized to the Buganda Kingdom and the Catholic Church members who were directly affected by the fired teargas on the event. Police spokesperson Fred Enanga said their actions were to prevent a big gathering in a bid to stop further spread of coronavirus in the country.
He explained that the incident that led to the firing of teargas was caused by some invited politicians like MP Francis Zaake and Busujju County MP David Kalwanga among others who came with a fleet of boda-bodas and several youth who attracted a larger gathering in uncontrolled setting contrary to the Ministry of Health guidelines against COVID-19.
Enanga’s statement followed that of Buganda Kingdom Katikkiro, Charles Peter Mayiga who on Sunday condemned police and the military actions for dispersing people who were attending a cultural event. Mayiga said that it was not wise to disperse people who were respecting the coronavirus (COVID-19) guidelines.