28 September 2017

Uganda: Age Limit - Explosions Rip MP Kasibante's Home

Photo: James Kabengwa/Monitor
MP Moses Kasibante shows the extent of the damage caused by blasts that occurred an hour after police returned him home after his detention over the age limit controversy.

Two explosives have ripped through the house of Rubaga North MP Moses Kasibante only an hour after police returned him home after Wednesday's detention over the age limit controversy.

The explosives tore through the front door of his home. Metallic and rubber fragments were by 9am Thursday still at the scene. The front door glasses had been smashed with mild smoke visible at the tiles of the veranda. However, there were no casualties.

"At slightly after 2am, two deafening blasts went off at different intervals. It was terrifying. We knew it was our last day living. It seemed like the assailants who threw the explosive were outside the perimeter fence as the guard did not see anyone inside by the time of the attack. But foot marks were visible outside. There were dark sunglasses left behind," Kasibante said.

Police arrived at the scene at about 10am.

"I alerted Old Kampala police DPC at 7am but they came four hours later. I don't know why," Mr Kasibante said.

There are four police posts within the vicinity of Mr Kasibante's residence while Old Kampala is less than two kilometres away.

Kampala Metropolitan Police Commander Mr Frank Mwesigwa confirmed to this reporter that it was an explosion.

"We have sent teams including bomb experts and fragments have been picked from the scene. We are examining the motive," Mr Mweigwa said.

He said police responded in time and a scene of crime officer was dispatched.

"Residents blocked our officers from accessing the scene but we later accessed it," he added.

However by 9.30am this reporter saw no scuffle or even a police officer.

The Local Council I chairman for Ssendawula zone, where Kasibbante is a resident, Mr Ahmed Kasule said: "It is a miracle that the MP is alive. The blasts were heavy and we thought there had been deaths," Mr Kasule, said.

The Uganda Police force spokesperson Mr Asan Kasingye told this reporter that he was not aware of the incident when asked about the explosions.

"Let me send officers at the scene then we will have details," Kasinge said.

Mr Kasibante alleged that officers, who returned him home after detention at Kibuli CID headquarters, took photographs of his home.

"I asked them why they were photographing my perimeter fence, veranda, vehicles and other items but I received no answer. In just one hour, an explosion occurred and police takes hours to arrive. How do you separate them from the incident?" Mr Kasibante asked.

Foul play?

Calling the incident a mayhem and a disturbance, Kampala Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago said that now the political atmosphere in Uganda has degenerated.

"We suspect foul play. It cannot be a coincidence after roughing MPs from parliament, then an explosion occurs and the delay of police is questionable. The nation is on tenterhooks. Police should tell us, who masterminded this," Mr Lukwago said.

Dying for belief

Kasibante said that although he is naturally terrified, he will not relent on what he believes in.

"I was humiliated and tortured by goons who usurped the power of parliament. Our rule of procedure allows only the sergeant at arms to evict a legislator suspended by the speaker. Goons swung into action immediately after the suspension. It was a pre-arranged scene and we know the people behind it," Mr Kasibante said.

He said after his detention at Kibuli CIID, he was charged with wearing a red head hat, damaging parliament property, wounding and assaulting state minister for water Ronald Kibuule.

"I refused to record a statement as they required me. I will also not report back to them as ordered," Mr Kasibante added.

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