Opposition leading figure Dr Kizza Besigye has spoken out for the first time since the unfortunate shooting incident which led to the death of Kenneth Akena. Besigye’s in-law Mathew Kanyamunyu is the prime suspect alongside his girl friend Cynthia. Below is his full statement;
The family of Late Mr Kenneth Watmon Akena, Condolence message: I have learnt of the tragic and most untimely passing of Kenneth. I have also learnt of the violent manner in which he was killed. My heart, thought and prayers are with the grieving family, relatives and friends. Sudden and violent death of a promising young person is, expectedly, very painful and, in itself, traumatic. It’s a time that we most need the calming, healing and reassuring presence the Almighty God. I, therefore, join all those who are praying for the family during this very difficult time.
The prime suspect, so far, in the killing of Kenneth is my relative, being a nephew of my wife, Winnie. This adds more pain and responsibility in ensuring that the truth surrounding this tragic passing of Kenneth is quickly uncovered and to ensure that justice is done. There is no doubt that the Museveni regime has overseen some of the worst violations of Human Rights in our country’s history. Moreover, these violations are often done with impunity and contempt for the victims. There is also no doubt that we’re witnessing unprecedented tribalism and nepotism in our country’s governance.
Therefore, the outpouring of anger that has a tribal colour as a result of the circumstances in which Kenneth died does not surprise me. This is in keeping with our people’s history and attitude of assigning collective responsibility for some heinous crimes committed by some individuals or groups of people. Though assigning collective responsibility may be attractive to our people, it should be clear by now that it’s foundation is wrong and that it’s counterproductive. It invites collective defence that provides cover for the individual perpetrators. It also promotes identity prejudices that undermine the national project, which we’re jointly and inextricably attached to.
Bad governments affect all tribes and clans negatively. People in Isingiro and Kiruhura, Districts of Ankole, are right now suffering immensely from the effects of prolonged drought. People and animals have been dying of hunger in these areas. Under a different government, such would have been averted, through better management of the environment, agriculture and the Animal Industry and, where necessary, better relief and disaster management programs. Personally, I face gross violations of my Rights and Freedoms on a daily basis. This is often done with gleeful contempt.
I know how provocative and exasperating this is. However, I know that it’s necessary to respond in measured and systematic ways that will not only end the current dictatorship but also cause a transition to a just and democratic system of government. Therefore, as we mourn our brother Kenneth, let’s remain united as Ugandans. We all know that the Justice, Law and Order institutions of our country are greatly compromised. Vigorous investigations should be undertaken, involving representatives of the family and relevant civic leaders.
Whoever is liable for the death of Kenneth should be subjected to the full force of the law. Once again, on behalf of my family, and on my own behalf, I convey heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family, relatives and friends. God bless you all and God bless our country Uganda. Col (rtd) Dr Kizza-Besigye. Ps: Enclosed is Shs 500,000= (Five hundred thousand only) to help in funeral expenses.