By Joel Tomusange
As of today morning, the death toll from Masaka sub-region stands at 28 with one or two people hacked and found dead every other morning since 22nd July, a space of just a month or so.
It is reported that the wanton killings are perpetrated by machete-wielding goons who are indiscriminately terrorising the residents, despite the heavy deployment of security forces within the region.
These killings raise a number of questions, some of which go back decades but to date remain unanswered.
This feeds into the narrative that; maybe such killings are carefully propagated by the stated machinery so as to dwindle opposition efforts and spirits in areas where government is gravely unpopular.
In the late 1980s and early 1990s when the “revolutionaries” were a young government in power, the people in Northern Uganda were manifestly anti-NRM.
In all the early elections, Northern Uganda voted against this government in favour of opposition with margins of over 90% in some areas.
Just around the same time, rebel activities and wanton killings of civilians became common place.
It is alleged that, some if not most of these murders were perpetrated by government in a bid to implicate some persons in the region as insurgents who wanted to overthrow government.
Many years later, the North is “yellow” and the region has never been more peaceful.
Kasese sub-region, overwhelmingly voted for opposition in the elections of 2011 and 2016, and we all know the price that the men, women and children there paid as a result. Over 100 people were killed in November 2016 by security forces allegedly in response to “militant attacks” on police posts in the region.
This was barely 8 months following a highly contested election wherein that Rwenzori sub-region overwhelmingly voted against the current government.
In the just concluded 2021 elections, this government was ought rightly thumped (for lack of a better word) within Masaka sub-region with over 90% of voters opting for opposition stalwart Robert Kyagulanyi Sentamu and his party the National Unity Platform, thereby declaring their alienation from the sitting government.
Political analyst Sadden Gayira notes that the Masaka murders are a worrying re-manifestation of this government’s trend of “crashing” anybody seemingly opposed to it.
He notes that the murders are systematically orchestrated by government to implicated that there are rebel elements trying to sabotage its mandate or even to identify rogue elements who could potentially mobilize against and or overthrow the regime.
This writer, Joel Tomusange is a lawyer and an activist
EDITORIAL NOTE: The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect our editorial stance.