A suspected suicide bomber is believed to be responsible for Wednesday morning blast that rocked the seat of Buganda Kingdom, Bulange, killing one person and leaving four others in critical condition.
Security sources told Red Pepper that the 10:00am explosion that blew up Kabaka Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II’s protection unit quarters at the entrance of Bulange was caused by an improvised explosive device.
Sources said a woman who has been known to be mad operating along Kabaka Njagala Road for the last three months, went on rampage early yesterday. She is said to have stormed Bulange demanding to see Katikkiro JB Walusimbi arguing she had a special message that she wanted to deliver to him personally.
However, some Bulange officials that we spoke to said the woman, whose name has not yet been established, could have disguised as a lunatic so as to spy on the operations of the kingdom and go unnoticed.
Security at the gate blocked the woman from entering, but she reportedly turned rowdy, what prompted security to lock her up in the Tower House at the gate of Bulange.
“After a few minutes, we heard a blast and it sounded like a bomb. The woman died on the spot,” an eyewitness said.
The head of Kabaka’s Protection Unit, Capt. Charles Kisitu Mivule was among the six people that sustained critical injuries.
Others who were seriously injured are Betty Nakanwagi, a cleaner; Aisha Nayiga, attached to Kabaka Protection Unit; Richard Ssebuguzi, an official of Buganda Land Board, Vincent Katende and Hussein Kibombo.
Some sources said the woman appeared to have been on a mission to bump off the Katikkiro. Some described her as a suicide bomber.
Sources inside Bulange said Capt. Mivule, who is Kabaka Mutebi’s chief body guard, had come on his morning routine checking when he found his security men struggling to chase away the woman who claimed to be demon-possessed.
Source said every morning, the Kabaka sends Mivule to come and assess the security situation at Bulange after which he rejoins his boss at Banda palace.
The woman, eye witnesses said, was dressed in a dirty gomesi.
“She looked mad and she demanded to be allowed to enter and meet the Katikkiro. She refused to be checked and kept saying she had urgent message for the Katikkiro. She said she had been given a message by Buganda’s spirits for the Katikkiro. She refused going through the metal detector saying was possessed by the spirits that were not comfortable being checked,” a source said.
The source added: “She was overpowered by Mivule’s men who chained her and put her under detention inside the security house. As they quizzed her, she kept turning her gomesi before unleashing an explosive which contained petrol. It was this explosive that went off and burnt the entire house. The woman was burnt beyond recognition and she died on spot.”
However, sceptics wonder why the fires that have rocked Buganda kingdom are always linked to the lunatics.
In March 2010, fire gutted Kasubi Tombs, just about 3 kilometres away from Bulange. The source of the fire was also attributed to a mad man, identified as Joseph Musoke, who confessed to police to have been behind the inferno.
Musoke, reportedly a witchdoctor-turned-Catholic, claimed to have got a vision in which the Holy Spirit showed him the trouble emanating from the masiro [tombs].
Following the alleged vision, he ran to Kasubi where he tried to destroy the regalia, like spears and bows, but the guards allegedly restrained him. He went away only to return another day to set the tombs ablaze.
“I went to the Katikkiro and narrated to him everything but he did not bother so I got a box of matches and set the place on fire,” he allegedly told the Police. He specified that he went through the backyard and lit a matchstick which he threw on the dry grass.
Mivule was admitted to intensive care unit at Mengo Hospital. Buganda politicians yesterday implored the angry crowd of Baganda youth not riot. There was heavy police deployment around Bulange as politicians including Kampala Mayor Erias Lukwago, Rubaga South MP Ken Lukyamuzi, Mityana South MP Kaddu Mukasa and Busiro East MP Medard Seggona pleaded with the crowds to remain calm as investigations into the incident go on.
Katikkiro Walusimbi was also at the scene and he calmed down the Baganda youth.
Reported by Hope Muhairwe, Milton Tumusiime, Stuart Yiga & Ronald Nahabwe