Kiiza flees military siege over ICC Kasese massacre case

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UPDF soldiers on duty

The family of former Leader of Opposition in Parliament Winnie Kiiza has fled its home in Kasese district following a military siege.

NBS reporter Zahara Namuli says no one is at the Kiburara Kasese following a sustained siege since Friday by armed men.

Last night, Kiiza said in a statement that the armed men were waiting for her husband to come home and they shoot him, thanks to a tip from friends.

On Sunday night, nine armed men in military uniform surrounded her house again armed to the teeth with machine guns and RPGs.

“This kind of situation has been around my Kampala residence too in the last few weeks,” she said, adding, “I don’t know whether my husband will be alive by morning.”

Victoria University

Kiiza is married to former Bukhonzo East MP Yokasi Bihande Bwambale.

The family says the armed men vanished into the night after her alarming Facebook post started circulating on social media.

Army spokesperson, Brig Richard Karemire, said there were no soldiers at Kiiza’s home and that her husband Bihande was at home, safe and sound.

Hounded over ICC case?

Kiiza becomes the second Kasese MP to receive death threats alongside a military siege.

Hon. William Nzoghu of Busongora North, who is also one of the petitioner in International Criminal Court (ICC) case on Kasese massacres, told parliament his life was being threatened.

“When ICC talked about the Kasese massacre investigation on Friday, gunmen raided us that same night,” said a family member.

The case was that sucks in President Museveni and UPDF land forces commander, Gen Peter Elwelu, was submitted to The Hague by Hon. Atkins Katusabe, Bukonjo County West MP.

Police said it had opened investigations into cases of murder threats involving members of parliament Gerald Karuhanga, William Nzhoghu and Connie Galiwango who have reported threats on their lives on the floor of parliament.

Deputy Police Spokesperson Patrick Onyango told NBS television: “We are still investigating these cases and very soon we shall give you a report on that we have found out.”

ICC reviews the case

Daily Monitor quoted the chief prosecutor at ICC, Ms Fatou Bensouda, saying her office indeed received a petition, requesting for investigations into the infamous Kasese killings.

Bensouda revealed that the “situation desk” at the Hague-based court, has since taken over the Kasese complaint and that it is being investigated.

“I cannot give details now but it is being reviewed under the situation desk,” Bensouda said on Thursday while meeting a Ugandan delegation that was witnessing the Dominic Ongwen defence hearing in The Hague.

In December 2016, a combined government security personnel, attacked the palace of the Rwenzururu king, Omusinga Charles Wesley Mumbere, while looking for wrong characters suspected to have taken refuge there.

More than 100 civilians were killed during the assault and scores left injured, with the king currently facing terrorism prosecution.

Bensouda committed that once the Kasese investigations are done, her office will communicate the findings to the concerned petitioners.

Petition

In December 2016, a group of Members of Parliament from the Rwenzori sub-region, petitioned the ICC to investigate the Kasese killings.

The petition was against President Museveni in his capacity as commander-in-chief of the armed forces, Maj Gen Peter Elwelu who commanded the attack on the palace and Assistant Inspector General of Police Asuman Mugenyi.

“Brig Elwelu kept on saying, he was acting on the orders of the commander-in-chief who is President Museveni, and Deputy Inspector General of Police Mugenyi, who physically commanded the bloody operation,” Ms Winnie Kiiza, the former Leader of Opposition in Parliament and a petitioner, told the media then.

According to the petition, the people who died in the attack include royal guards, women, children, visitors and domestic workers at the palace.

Other Members of Parliament who are part of the petitioners are Robert Centenary (Kasese Municipality), Nzoghu William (Busongora East), Katusabe Atkins (Busongora West) and Niwagaba Wilfred among others.

Background information by Daily Monitor

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