Museveni: Govt not to blame for fire

March 22, 2010 12:00 am

, KAMPALA, Mar 22 – Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni said he was "infuriated" by accusations that his government was behind the fire that ravaged tombs of royal traditional rulers last week.

Protesters from the Baganda tribe — whose kings are buried at the UN-listed site — accused the government of torching the 128-year-old Kasubi tombs.

"I am infuriated by those who have been carrying out a slanderous, whispering campaign that it is the government which burnt the Kasubi tombs," Museveni told reporters late Sunday.

"I am annoyed. I want those whispering that government was behind (the fire)… to say it publicly. Then we shall ask that person how," Museveni added.

Ties between the government and the Buganda kingdom of the country\’s largest Baganda tribe have been frosty since last year when the tribal ruler, the Kabaka, was blocked from visiting a region outside the capital Kampala.

Museveni also defended security forces who used live fire to quell riots over the fire.

At least two people were killed in the protest.

"It is not correct for anybody, for whatever excuse, to interfere with the security forces when they are doing their duty," he said.

"How will the truth come out if the security forces are not involved?"

The tombs were declared a World Heritage Site in 2001. The tombs are a spiritual symbol for the Baganda people, and many go there for ritual ceremonies.


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