Opposition National unity platform (NUP) want government to investigate its own securities agencies following the bomb attack that left scores injured and two people dead at Digida Pork Joint in Kyanja.
This position was issued by the party’s spokesperson Joel Ssenyonyi while commenting on the attacks shortly after President Yoweri Museveni’s address about the attacks.
In his address, the president echoed part of the narrative that was given to the media by a waitress who witnessed the explosion at the scene.
In her interview, the waitress narrated that the suspected attacker was clad in a People Power shirt and was in the company of other colleagues. The group who were reportedly occupying their own table ordered for a bucket of Nile Special beer but kept dodging to pay. That later, their colleague wearing the People Power shirt came with what is now suspected to be a petrol bomb contained in a black kavera.
“He placed the bottle which was in a black kavera under the bottle and when I came to ask for payment, he told me to wait. Later I brought him the receipt with his bill but he threw it back to me. I then went back to the counter but on returning I found when they had vacated the place, but with their beer half-consumed,” the girl narrated. She says that a few moments after she had returned to the counter, a bomb went off and that’s how she survived the death which claimed one of their colleagues.
NUP weary of M7 corroboration
While the waitress’ narrative did not attract much frenzy, NUP bosses particularly got concerned when in his address, the president revealed that he had been briefed that the attackers used a petrol bomb.
“The information I have is that 3 people came and left a package in kavera which later on exploded killing one person and injuring 5 others. It seems to be a terrorist act but we shall get the perpetrators,” Museveni said.
The president’s statements have caused pandemonium within the NUP ranks, particularly raising fears that they could be a precursor to government’s linking of the terror attack to NUP.
In a statement issued on his Facebook post however, NUP publicist Ssenyonyi opined that government should probe its security agencies before turning focus elsewhere.
Ssenyonyi’s based his assertion on a June 12, 2021 Daily Monitor headline in which police implicated internal spy agency Internal Security Organization (ISO) in the recent petrol bomb attacks.
Referring to the headline, Ssennyonyi wrote: “Remember this headline weeks ago? And now we hear of plans to arrest & implicate more NUP leaders, coupled with Mr. Museveni’s plans to scarp bail. Be strong Uganda, it’s always darkest before dawn. Our prayers go out to the bereaved families and those injured in the Komamboga explosion.”
It should be remembered that earlier in June, thirty two people were charged in the general court martial with several offences including possession of ammunition and explosive devices.
These people were arrested in connection with petrol bombs that were thrown by assailants targeting government cars. Among the cars targeted was that belonging to former RDC Eric Sakwa.
To the shock of many, however, two of the arrested men were ISO operatives. A cold war would then erupt between police and ISO as the spy agency claimed the police intended to malign it by arresting its spies. ISO claimed the spies had been deployed to burst the bomb-throwing gangs.
However, police released the ISO spies but said investigations against them were still ongoing then. A police source would however later reveal that there were no more incidents of petrol bombs after the ISO operatives were arrested.
Later, the opposition denied any involving in such acts. Precisely, NUP would come out to claim that government was using the alleged attacks to frame and arrest its supporters and officials.
Why NUP Is Worried
Ssenyonyi’s claims of the NUP fears bring back memories of the predicament facing NUP MPs Allan Ssewanyana and Muhammad Ssegirinya in light of their arrest over the Masaka killings.
It is worth noting that at the height of the killings, information minister Chris Baryomunsi alluded to claims that the opposition were behind the attacks. And indeed before long, the now jailed NUP legislators were soon arrested and jailed for allegedly masterminding the attacks. While NUP and the accused have continued to deny involvement in the Masaka attacks, government has also denied hounding the legislators for political scores.
NUP’s apprehension also comes on the heels on President Museveni’s vow to dismantle and finish off the Kyagulanyi group in the heat of the recent presidential election process.