The leader of the National Unity Platform (NUP) Robert Kyagulanyi alias Bobi Wine has criticised the newly elected army representative in parliament, Lt General Peter Elwelu over the statements he made that people of Kasese deserved to die because they were criminals.
In 2016, Elwelu commanded an operation that left the Rwenzururu kingdom palace in Kasese town in ruins and dozens dead, with King Charles Wesley Mumbere subjected to the ignominy of public arrest before his subjects.
In the aftermath, Mumbere and more than 150 of his royal guards were arraigned before court in Jinja district and charged with treason, terrorism, and murder, among other crimes.
After taking oath few days ago to join parliament as one of the ten army legislators, Elwelu said the intervention in Kasese has resulted in peace expressing no remorse over his action.
“Uganda is peaceful because of my action and Kasese is very peaceful and they are doing very well. Do you hear any problem in Kasese again?” he queried.
Elwelu’s statement has raised concern among the leaders and human right defenders.
Kyagulanyi noted that many innocent people were murdered in cold blood while others were arrested and are still languishing in prison because of his action.
“A man under whose command over 150 citizens were murdered swore in with a Bible! He also stated that the citizens who were murdered in Kasese (including women and children) deserved it,”he noted in statement.
“As Lt. Gen. Elwelu and several known criminals swear in on the red carpet, innocent citizens- the likes of Nubian Li and Dog City are languishing in Kitalya, while many others are being tortured in safe houses,”he added.
Kyagulanyi noted that this kind of indignity will have to end as soon as possible, and no one else will end it but the people of Uganda.
Equally,the human rights defenders criticised Elwelu about his remarks.
Dr Livingstone Ssewwanya, the founder and executive director of the Foundation for Human Rights Initiative (FHRI), said that Elwelu is not only liable for the blood that was shed in the area but also prosecution.
“His admission attracts legal consequences. Whereas he enjoys the protection of the state at the moment, at any one time, he can be prosecuted,”he said.
Security agencies have been repeatedly accused of killing more than 100 people in November 2016, when their forces descended on the Rwenzururu palace, at the climax of long-standing tension, between the state and Rwenzururu kingdom.
According to a report released by Human Rights Watch in 2017, at least 153 people, including children, died during the raid.