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Suspected Rwenzururu Royal Guard Shot Dead In Kasese

Security operatives have shot dead a man whom they claim to have tried to arrest at his home in Ruhara village in Bwesumbu sub county, Kasese district. Matayo Bighanzire, who has been the local council vice chairperson, was shot dead at his home at about 8am on Friday, according to Samson Bagenda the Bwesumbu sub county chairperson.

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Security operatives have shot dead a man whom they claim to have tried to arrest at his home in Ruhara village in Bwesumbu sub county, Kasese district.

Matayo Bighanzire, who has been the local council vice chairperson, was shot dead at his home at about 8am on Friday, according to Samson Bagenda the Bwesumbu sub county chairperson.

Bagenda says that operatives first beat up the deceased together with his wife and children before he was gunned down. The assailants reportedly accused him of being a royal guard of the Rwenzururu Kingdom.

Bwesumbu sub county was at the receiving end of the raids in November last year against suspected Rwenzururu Kingdom militia with over 30 people killed by security operatives.

Bagenda says Bighanzire as a peasant farmer with three cows.

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One of the residents who spoke on condition of anonymity says he rushed to Bighanzire's home shortly after hearing gunshots and met at least seven UPDF soldiers on the way. The source says the soldiers asked him what the name of the deceased was adding that they had shot him dead because he was a Rwenzururu royal guard.

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Residents say that there has been heavy military deployment in the mountainous sub county of Bwesumbu, something they say has caused fear among the people.

Sam Bisubi the Hima Division police commander under Rwenzori East region confirmed the incident while speaking to URN on phone. Bisubi however, did not give details about the matter saying he was still leading a team of investigators at the scene.

Major James Mwesigye, the Kasese Resident District Commissioner (RDC) confirmed that Bighanzire was shot dead by a UPDF soldier in self defence. The RDC says that the deceased is one of the people suspected to have attacked and injured a local politician last week. He adds that Bighanzire stabbed the soldier with a knife while resisting arrest, an action that forced the soldier to shoot in self defence.

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Asked about why the UPDF had gone to execute the arrest instead of the police, Major Mwesigye says that the Kasangali UPDF detachment was near the suspect's home and he could have escaped by the time police got to the scene.

The incident happens just a day after Saulo Maate, the Chairperson of the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) party in Kasese district, accused the government of continuing to inflict fear among the residents of Kasese through threatening arrests on whoever is thought to be a royal guard.

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Maate attributes all the threats on the government behaviour since their poor performance in the 2016 elections. Over 10 people including soldiers, policeman and civilians were killed in the post-election violence in March 2016.

This preceded the  November 26 clashes in which over 100 people were killed when the UPDF and police raided Rwenzururu king Charles Wesley Mumbere's Buhikira palace in Kasese town.

Mumbere, his then acting prime minister Johnson Thembo Kitsumbire and over 160 suspected royal guards are facing several charges of treason, terrorism,  murder and attempted murder among others.

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