Friday, January 05, 2007

Government panics over Kayiira Report

Officials of the Government of Uganda are using force and intimidation in attempt to scuttle release of the nearly 20 year old Scotland Yard report of the investigations into the death of Andrew Kayiira. Andrew Kayiira the 45 year old former Minister of Energy in the Museveni administration was murdered on February 6, 1987 at his friend Henry Gombya's residence in Lukuli an eastern suburb of Kampala. Prior to his death, Kayira had just been acquitted of treason. In 1980, Andrew Kayira and others formed the Uganda Freedom Movement that took up arms against the then sitting UPC government. In 1982, UFM staged the Lubiri attack that depleted its ranks but delivered a pyschological blow to the sitting UPC government. Chroniclers of the bush war indicate that NRA was supposed to have provided back up support which never materialized. After 1982 UFM split into two forces, UFM and FEDEMU both of which took up seats in Tito Okello's Military Council government until January 1986 when he was named Minister of Energy. In October 1986 Andrew Kayira was arrested for treason along with 18 other politicians from the Democratic Party.

The death of Kayira remains a mystery to this date. Several senior military officers acting on orders from above have been mentioned in connection with his murder in cold blood. However under currrent Ugandan law, specifically the Freedom of Information Act and Article 41 of the constitution, the government does not have much wriggle room to embargo publication of the report. Uganda's courts have construed permissible restrictions on release of official information very narrowly. It must fit within a "national security exemption" a category that excludes criminal acts like the murder of Kayira.

DP President Sebaana Kizito and the Legal Advisor Erias Lukwago have promised to release a privately secured copy of the Report on Saturday January 6, 2007 in Kampala. Kampala Mayor Nasser Sebaggala has allowed the DP rally to proceed. Police have already violently dispersed two DP rallies in Masuliita north of Kampala and Wobulenzi at the fringes of the metro north district.

The British government that sent the Scotland Yard experts has curiously maintained a studious silence on this matter.

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