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Commonwealth Investigates Desecration of Masaka War Cemetery :: Uganda Radionetwork
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Commonwealth Investigates Desecration of Masaka War Cemetery

A team of officials from Commonwealth War Graves Commission in Nairobi stormed Masaka Municipality on Thursday to substantiate reports that the war cemetery in the area had been tampered with.
Residents looking at destroyed grave at Masaka Cemetery

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The reported raid on the foreigner’s cemetery in Masaka municipality has drawn the attention of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission headquarters in Nairobi.

A team of officials from the commission are in Masaka to investigate the raid on the cemetery. Unidentified people backed by two armed men raided the cemetery located at Bwala hill in the wee hours of Wednesday morning. They destroyed 13 graves before disappearing with the remains from the tombs. Local leaders in Masaka suspect the grave raiders wanted to grab the cemetery land.

A team of officials from Commonwealth War Graves Commission led by Lod Carkett, the East African Regional Manager and regional supervisor Daniel Achin stormed Masaka Municipality on Thursday to substantiate reports that the cemetery had been disposed of. They later inspected the cemetery located next to Masaka Social Centre and Hill Road Public school and found 13 graves desecrated. The officials who were in the company of Godfrey Kayemba Afaayo, the Mayor Masaka Municipality and other municipal officials, were shocked to find graves of key world war fighters such as Thomas Changa and Arthur Williams Johnson, both from the British Army tampered with. 

The team bought construction materials to have the graves fixed. Lod Carkett, the East African Regional Manager Commonwealth War Graves Commission, warned Masaka Municipality against being tempted to dispose of the cemetery saying the British government spends huge sums of money to maintain them. He said his Royal Highness the Duke of Kent and Queen Elizabeth are aware of the existence of the cemetery.

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Bonnie Johnson, a relative of the late captain Arthur Williams Johnson said he was surprised to hear on Radio that his grandfather’s grave had been tampered with.  Johnson said he has been coming to the country periodically to check on the grave. Bonnie says he is ready to relocate the remains of his grandfather because it is clear Masaka Municipality will destroy the cemetery and give it away.

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Masaka Mayor Godfrey Kayemba insists the cemetery has not been disposed of.

 

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Police have also denied involvement in the raid on the cemetery. Henry Kavuma, the Masaka DPC says they didn’t deploy any cops to provide security to the people who destroyed the grave. He says they have launched investigations into the matter.