Uganda Wildlife Authority guarantees tourists security in western Uganda

By Moses Kidandi
Uganda Wildlife has assured the public that despite the tension in Kasese district, Queen Elizabeth National park is still safe for tourism.
The Kasese clashes have led to cancellation of bookings by some tourists fearing for their safety and increase in insurance costs. A large number of mountain climbers who were slated to hike the Rwenzori Mountain have cancelled their scheduled adventures.
Officials at the Uganda Wild Life Authority (UWA) say that the Kasese unrest has already had a serious effect on the tourism sector a major foreign income earner and biggest contributor to Uganda’s gross domestic product GDP).
UWA spokesperson Jossy Muhangi says many tourists are making thorough inquiries on visiting Uganda during the festive season but are scared of the tension in Kasese.Muhanji says the entire National park is safe and tourists are free to visit.

The cable cars would be used by tourists- Kiwanda

By Alice Lubwama

The state minister for Tourism Godfrey Kiwanda has led a delegation to Malaysia to study the use of cable cars before there introduced to Uganda for mountain climbing.

Kiwanda says the cable cars would be used by tourists who visit the country to for mountain climbing especially, Rwenzori but cannot do it on their own.

Kiwanda says, the ministry will be able to attract more tourists and make more money if cable cars are introduced.


Museveni promises victims of tribal clashes in Bundibugyo compensation

Families who lost relatives and properties during ethnic clashes at Kirumiya trading centre in Bundibugyo district have been instructed to register with the district leadership for government compensation.

President Yoweri Museveni unveiled government’s compensation plan during a visit to the affected families on Monday.  He however did not mention the form of compensation and when they will be compensated.

“You should not worry because the government will compensate those who were affected by the clashes,” Museveni said.

He also visited Musiiki 3 village in Ntotoro Sub County, which was most hit by the clashes. The area is located on the slopes of the Rwenzori Mountains in Bughendera County.

Jolly Tibamanya, the Bundibugyo district chairperson, said that 31 people were killed during the clashes and 361 houses burnt. He requested the President to improve the presence of security personnel in the sub county. Tibamanya added that several residents have abandoned their gardens for fear of being attacked.

Museveni condemned the attacks especially that targeted women and children in the Rwenzori and described the master minders of the attackers as hypocrites and prophets of falsehood.

Museveni told the residents that the army will be deployed in the mountains to protect the communities from further attacks. He also warned the local leaders to stop inciting the communities to engage in criminal activities.

Citing the July 5th 2014 clashes in the region, Museveni also warned leaders against inciting the youths to attack military installations by smearing their bodies with fetishes.

“I am warning the leaders to stop inciting the young people. In 2014, the youths who were misled by the leaders were shot and killed when they attacked the army barracks and police posts. They should stop,”Museveni said.

Museveni further advised the residents to leave the internally displaced camps at Bubugwanga transit camp and Bumandu Church of Uganda and return to their homes.

The visit of the President was characterized by heavy deployment of the army and police. Three helicopters hovered in the air as he toured the affected areas.


Bundibugyo residents on their guard against attacks

Residents of Kirumiya village in Ntoroto Sub County in Bundibugyo district have armed themselves to repulse any attacks against the community. The residents are armed with bows, arrows, machetes, knives and spears.

This follows an incident on Wednesday in which 8 people were killed in Kitere and Kirumiya villages. The dead included five people from the Bamba community and three from the Bakonzo. The Sub County is predominately Bakonzo.

On Thursday afternoon, more than 50 residents from the Bamba community armed with traditional weapons, turned up at Kirumiya trading center to listen to Kale Kayihura, the Inspector General of Police.

Kayihura was visiting the scene of the Wednesday attacks. When Kayihura asked them why they were armed, they told him that they were defending themselves from any further attacks by the Bakonzo.

Steven Musokyi, the LC1 chairperson Kirumiya, says they will not sit back as they watch their colleagues being killed. Musokyi says that more than 450 residents have been armed.

He adds that some residents have since Wednesday fled their homes and fear to return.  David Mbusa, a resident of Kirumiya says that they decided to arm themselves because the security officials are doing little to contain the violence.

Mbusa says that residents told the police about an impending attack but Police didn’t take any action. Kayihura appealed to the residents to return to their homes, since security in the area has been beefed up.

He said the army and police will be deployed in the mountains, where the attackers descend from to carry out attacks in the community. Kayihura also assured the community that the police will carry out investigations to establish the cause of the attacks.

Lydia Tumushabe, the Rwenzori Region Police Spokesperson says that 40 people have so far been arrested in connection with the attacks. She says that the suspects will be screened and charged in courts of law.



Police Officer killed in Kasese Police post attack

Two people are dead after an attack on a Kasese police post last night. One of the dead is a police officer identified as Charles Kasimba. The other deceased was part of the gang of eight attackers who is yet to be identified.

Another of the attackers only named Mbusa is in police custody. The officer’s gun was stolen after the attack.

Police sources speaking to a Uganda Radio Network reporter say the Mbusa struck the fatal blow that killed Kasimba. Police claim Mbusa was already inside the station at the time of the attack. The other attackers reported to the station later.

While Kasimba was distracted at the counter trying to attend to the men, Mbusa struck him from behind with a machete several times. Police say Kasimba suffered multiple cuts to his head and neck area and died almost instantly.

Officers in the station responded by firing on the fleeing gang. One of the men was struck and killed while Mbusa was injured. Mbusa is now receiving medical treatment at Kilembe Mines Hospital under police custody.

The gang struck Kidodo police post at around midnight.

Police has cordoned off the police post and mounted patrols in Kidodo. The police are also searching for Kasimba’s gun.

Kidodo is about four kilometres from the main Kasese town.

Rwenzori region police spokesperson Lydia Tumushabe confirms the attack and deaths.

The attack on Kidodo police post comes just a day after clashes in Bundibugyo left eight people dead. Police sources indicate the clashes were between the Bamba and Bakonzo tribes.

The Rwenzori region has been plagued by insecurity since 2014. 2016 post election clashes in the area forced the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Kale Kayihura to hold crisis talks with the Omusinga Charles Wesley Mumbere and reshuffle police bosses.