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Kasese Leaders Want Security Officials Probed Over Bwera Market Violence

URN has seen a letter signed by the ISO boss, Kaka Bagyenda instructing that the companies work in shifts for security reasons. On June 19, Walusimbi wrote instructing town clerk Mpondwe-Lhubiriha town council to implement the directive and ensure that the companies work in shifts.

Audio 5

Kasese district authorities want security officials investigated for their role in the Bwera Market violence that led to the shooting of two people last month.

Abdu Noor Mutegeki, a worker at Babughirana Butcher men Development Association Cattle Market and Dan Benja, a businessman from Isingiro are nursing injuries they sustained after being shot by a joint security force deployed to stop operations in Babughirana cattle market.

The conflict is a result of rivalry between Babughirana Butcher men Development Association and Alisamu Trading Company Limited, which operate cattle markets in Mpondwe-Lhubiriha town council.

Kasese Resident District Commissioner, Lt. Joe Walusimbi, says the deployment was meant to enforce a directive from the Director General of Internal Security Organisation who had instructed that both companies operate in shifts of two weeks.    URN has seen a letter signed by the ISO boss, Kaka Bagyenda instructing that the companies work in shifts for security reasons. On June 19, Walusimbi wrote instructing town clerk Mpondwe-Lhubiriha town council to implement the directive and ensure that the companies work in shifts.

Under the current, all cattle traders would be compelled to take cattle to one market on particular days as opposed to the current situation where they have the liberty to choose whether to trade with Babughirana Butchermen Development Association or Alisamu Trading Company Limited.

The Kasese District Chairperson, Geoffrey Sibendire Bigogo, says the actions of ISO and RDC are repugnant to the country’s liberalization policy on trade.

//Cue in: “The policy of this…”  

Cue out: “…. go scot free.”//   Bigogo says he has engaged the RDC to help him understand that he is treading on wrong grounds. He says the RDC is abusing his office to undermine the freedom and choice that comes with the free market economy.

Bigogo suspects that Saturday Musolho, the Director Alisamu Trading Company could have comprised the RDC and some individuals in ISO to ring fence certain market days for him since he wasn’t making sufficient money at his market. 

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Bigogo says the RDC who ordered for the deployment that resulted into the shooting of two people must take direct responsibility, adding that Walusimbi ought to stop hiding behind the ISO directive since he was also duty-bound to advise ISO against what he calls an illegal directive.

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Bigogo also says they are contemplating tabling a motion in the district council recommending the RDC’s transfer for alleged incompetence.

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Fauza Kule Mbuluta the Mpondwe-Lhubiriha Town Council LC V councilor, says the RDC is just being political in his decision. Saturday Musolho is a diehard NRM supporter while Babughirana has directors subscribing to both NRM and the FDC.    Mbuluta also says the Regional Police Commander, Vincent Mwesigye ought to be investigated.

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He says they have used the cover of insecurity as an excuse to foil the business of Babughirana Butchermen Development Association, which is associated with opposition Forum for Democratic Change-FDC party.  Musolho, the director Alisamu trading Company, who is accused of bribing the RDC has since refused to talk to the media.

Walusimbi also declined to comment on the matter although he has always maintained that his actions were informed by the guidance from the ISO Director General. Swalah Sunday, one of the directors of Babughirana Butcher men Development Association, says it's unfortunate that their pleas to allow them operate freely have been futile.

He is however, optimistic the matter will be resolved soon since they have petitioned the office of the president to intervene in the matter. URN has learnt that Major Martha Asiimwe from the Office of the President visited both markets last week on a fact finding mission to ascertain what could have gone wrong.

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