Did museveni order 12 January shooting?

Author:Lokongo, Antoine
Position:Uganda - Brief Article

Did he or did he not? This was the big debate in Uganda as we went to press. Did President Yoweri Museveni order the 12 January shooting of a journalism student at a rally organised in Kampala by the Uganda Peoples Congress (UPC), the old party of former President Milton Obote who now lives in exile in Zambia?

The opposition says yes, the State House says no.

Mary Karooro, the presidential press secretary, denied in a press statement that the president ordered the shooting of Jimmy Higenyi, a student of the United Media Consultants and Trainers (UMCAT), as claimed by the UPC.

"The inspector general of police has given his explanation to the public and State House is looking forward to further investigations into the matter in order to bring those at fault to justice. Allegations by the UPC that Museveni ordered the shooting are not only false but are calculated to injure the reputation of the president," Karooro added.

But Dr James Rwanyarare, chairman of the UPC Presidential Policy Commission, insisted that his party had information to the effect that President Museveni had met the police chief, Maj-Gen Katumba Wamala, and the attorney general Francis Ayume on 1 January and had asked them to use force if need be to crush the rally. He had also directed that people attending the rally should be detained and prevented from discussing dictatorship and terrorism, and that they should later be released without making any statements or given police bail.

"In short, the president was asking the police to carry on illegal arrests and detentions," Rwanyarare added.

He was supported by Peter Walubiri, chairman of the rally's organising committee, who said: "Not only was one student shot dead through the back, with bullet exiting through his heart, but several other people were beaten up, injured and now ailing in hospital, including the UPC presidential policy commissioner and activist Night Kulabako.

"By ordering police to use live ammunition to disperse a peacefully demonstrating crowd, Museveni has shown that he does not support our international struggle against terrorism and dictatorship."

Jimmy Higenyi was shot dead by armed police who also injured more than 10 others during a rally...

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