We look at the different events and other happenings that characterized Kasese district from January to December 2012. Kasese might not have experienced challenges as of 2012 in any other year since the end to the Allied Democratic Forces rebellion was announced in 2002.
Looking into the events of Kasese district, one needs to know what happened in the area of security, fire outbreaks, health, all sorts of deaths, politics and culture.
district, there has not been any attempted attack on the borders by the ADF rebels which the army believes are regrouping inside the DRC.
However, it is said “what happens in the neighborhood affects whoever cares”. In July, Kasese played hosts of about 700 Congolese soldiers who were relocated there after seeking refuge in Kisoro district
following advances of the M23 rebels on the Bunagana boarder post.
They were a week later handed back to the Congolese government at Rusese Barracks in Mpondwe-Lubiriha town council.
Also on august 3, hundreds of Congolese sought refugee in Kasese district following a gunfire that rocked Lubiriha town across the border with Uganda. Ugandan army and their Congolese counterparts
confirmed the attackers were the Mai Mai militia operating in eastern DRC. However politics came to play as opposition politicians claimed it was a planned move by the government of Uganda to have Congolese participates in the Kasese woman MP by-elections five days later.
The refugees then returned back home two days before the heated election that was won by Forum for Democratic Change’s Winfred Kiiza.
In health, the major threat for Kasese district was Cholera outbreak which characterized most parts of Bukonzo West Constituency that makes the border with DRC. The first death was reported at Congolese landing site called Kasindipole adjacent to Uganda’s Kayanzi landing site on Lake George that was severely hit. More than 10 people lost their lives with over 100 cases admitted at Bwera Hospital cholera isolation center. The epidemic was contained later on after devastating the area
from March to July.
June 26, the teacher in charge of health and sanitation at Karambi secondary school Mr. John Rwakisinga was forced to clean the pit latrines that were found unbearable. On his familiarization tour, the newly transferred Resident District Commissioner Lt. Milton Odongo who found latrines at the school very dirty. This teacher made the news when he collected water and cleaned the toilets under the RDC’s stewardship.
A 24-year-old woman started the yeah at Kilembe Mines Hospital in Kasese Municipality after she drunk three liters of paraffin. Ms Mary Nziabake a resident of Buwatha who decided to drink paraffin in anger
that her husband could not afford meat on Christmas day was later discharged after regaining her conscience.
Two ghost schools were discovered in Kasese district this year. As the ministry of education was carrying out monitoring of the Universal Secondary Education fund benefiting schools, it was found out that
Alliance High School and Kithende College School were ghosts receiving government funds without being cleared for it.
Some news that made the people of Kasese and the country at large was in September when Daily Monitor published a story of a ten-year-old boy who exchanged letters with American president Barack Obama.
Christopher Kule, a primary four pupil at Rwentutu Christian School exchanged letters with Obama through American student teachers that were doing internship at Rwentutu Christian School in Lake Katwe sub-county. In the letters, Kule and Obama discussed human rights and regional security.
Businessman Capson Sausi who decided to foot Kule’s fees for one year said “this boy has given Kasese all the pride we want. It is not easy to get Obama’s address but Kule managed and discussed issues affecting all Ugandans”.
November 4, a 14-year-old girl at Kasanga primary braved labour pains to sit Primary Leaving Examinations. On the second day, the girl child sat the final papers in a special room at Kasanga primary health care center. She later delivered a bouncing baby boy at Bwera hospital through caesarian section. She wants to become a nurse.
About 200 youths underwent training in Information and Communications Technology by the ministry of ICT at Kilembe secondary school. The completion certificates were handed to the youths by Defense Minister Dr. Chrispus Kiyonga.
These were moments when lots of money was lost in different fire outbreaks. Tourism stopped for nearly two weeks in after fire broke out in both Rwenzori Mountains National Park and Queen Elizabeth
National park. These fires that Uganda Wildlife Authorities denied to have set up destroyed the trees and some animals in the two national parks following draught between January and February. Rwenzururu Kingdom scouts and other able bodied men were deployed to put off fire that had devastated the Rwenzori Mountains.
About 4000 tones of cotton were destroyed by fire that gutted a cotton store in Kasese town on March 9, before it was being transported to Bushenyi ginneries in Rubirizi district. The buyers claimed that close to Shs 100M was lost in the fires.
Another fire on February 22 destroyed property worth millions of shillings when it gutted Sun City Cinema Hall in Nyakasanga a suburb of Kasese town as fans were watching a premier league match between Manchester United and Norwich City.
This tragic story starts far back in on Easter Sunday on April 8 when a man working for Kilembe Mines Limited was trapped in upsizing underground water that he and colleagues had gone to pump as a routine work. The man said to have been in his 50s could not match the pace of the youthful colleagues to run out of the mine caves when the water overpowered them. The dead body was retrieved three weeks later following employment of a number of experts from police’s marine section.
A month later, the Kilembe Mines Superintendent Mr. Felix Mugyema was feared dead after disappearing from his home. However, Mr. Mugyema remains missing and no confirmation of whether he is dead or alive.
May 11, tragedy befell the journalism fraternity in Kasese district when veteran self-employed journalist Mr. Amon Thembo was shot dead by unknown assailants near his village home in Kyogha, Bwera sub-county.
His death raised a lot of controversies but police is yet to release a report.
Six four more people lost their lives to shootings reportedly by robbers at night with most cases in Karambi sub-county. Security has always claimed there are many guns that remained in the hands of the
people at the end of the ADF rebellion in 2002. Two guns were recovered in Nyakiyumbu sub-county.
Four people including a police man were killed on July 27 when unknown people attacked Muhokya police post. Three of the attackers were shot dead by a police man called Lusenge before discovering that his colleague was also killed by the attackers. It was later reported by the security agencies that the attackers were members of the Rwenzururu Freedom Fighters a renegade group that broke off from the
Rwenzururu Veterans Development Association-the former fighters between 1962-1982.
Nine people including two policemen and the leader of the renegade group -80 year-old Regio Kyakunukire are still on remand in Mubuku government prison following their arrest in connection with the attack on the police post.
In accidents, six people from Mahango, Kyalhumba, Rukoki and Muhokya sub-counties were killed in landslides that occurred on the night of May 17.
On February 22, Moses Kakuma a traffic officer attached to Bwera Police station died when a car rammed into him on the roadside as he and colleagues were in the line of duty. Driver Cyril Kamalha, 62, was charged with careless driving. Another death on record is for two months-old baby who died immediately after circumcision at St. Paul’s Health Center III in Kasese Municipality. The cause of the death was not clear. Also another child died in December in Kilembe sub-county after eating poisonous cassava species commonly known as “Kalinga”.
Cultural twists occurred on July 1, when the Basongora a minority tribe crowned Mr. Ivan Bwebale as their King under the tittles of Rwigi IV Rutakirwa Agutamba Kabumba. This sparked off a revival of
rivalry between the Bakonzo and the Basongora who had had years of conflicts over ownership of land.
The Rwenzururu Kingdom immediately declared the installation of the Busongora King as “null and void” claiming that a Kingdom can not emerge in another Kingdom.
On July 11, drama then ensure in Kasese town when Rwenzururu youths drove around streets with the Busongora flag which they stole during an early morning raid on Muhokya trading center where Mr. Bwebale stays. He later reported a case at police that Rwenzururu youths stole about shs 70m from his drum but no arrests have been made since then.
This was the time when Rwenzururu King Charles Wesley Mumbere was under tensions following an attack on the Bakonzo by the Bamba/Bawisi protesting his visit to Bundibugyo district. The Bamba now prepare to install their own king soon.
On March 3, Rwenzururu Kingdom Prime Minister Mr. Constantine Bwambale resigned his post claiming he was going to concentrate on business.
However this left a lot of speculations among the subjects with some saying he feared politics that had allegedly taken play in the affairs of the Kingdom.
The political gist of this year started on June 4, when the court of appeal kicked Kasese woman MP Winfred Kiiza out of parliament on grounds that the electoral commission failed to comply with the
electoral laws in organizing the 2011 elections.
A week later Ms. Kiiza was given a triumphant welcome back to the district as she came to prepare for the fresh campaigns. On July 19-20, the electoral commission nominated four candidates to run in
the August 8, by-elections. They included FDC’s Winfred Kiiza, NRM’s Rehema Muhindo (runner up 2011), DP’s Rosemary Masika and Independent Betty Kayezu. The later then withdrew from the race in favour of the NRM candidate after allegedly holding a meeting with President Yoweri Museveni.
The race was won by Ms Kiiza who was declared on the early morning of August 7 with a winning margin of 37000 votes a result that force Ms Muhindo to quit politics saying she was misled by elements in the NRM.
However two days to the heated polling day, gunfire and teargas rocked streets of Kasese town as residents protested the condoning of the home of Rwenzururu Kingdom chief prince Mr. Christopher Kibanzanga.
Dozens of people were arrested including those who were residing in Mr. Kibanzanga’s house. Two district councilors subscribing to FDC also did not participate in the by-elections after being remanded to Mubuku prison over allegations that they incited violence on issues concerning the Busongora Kingdom emergence. However, they were in December acquitted after prosecution failed to produce substantial witnesses in the case.
Therefore, Kasese district had a year of mixed memories with challenges over powering expectations of good will through out.