Uganda’s government has finally released a controversial report of the investigation conducted by the Scotland yard police into the assassination of former rebel leader Andrew Kayira. The government had initially refused to release the report amid opposition party accusations of government complicity in the former rebel leaders’ death. Kayira was the leader of the then rebel Uganda freedom movement, which fought former president Milton Obote’s regime in the 1980’s.
Ruhakana Rugunda is Uganda’s Minster of internal affairs. He said some of the alleged masterminds of the former rebel leader’s assassination have been acquitted.
“Dr. Kayira was murdered about twenty years ago and Scotland Yard was asked by the government of Uganda to come and assist with the investigation. The report of the investigation was looked at, its evidence was utilized and some of the suspects were charged in court but subsequently acquitted,” he said.
Rugunda agreed that the government should have released the report a long time ago.
“Unfortunately the actual report was not released to the public, government has considered it appropriate to release the report now because it was clear that this should have been released, and at the same time there was obviously public interest in the report,” he noted.
Rugunda denied reports, which portray the government of trying to block attempts by groups who demanding the report’s release.
“Government has never resisted or objected to releasing the report. I would say that government interest and opposition interest in the report and its release in a way coincided,” Rugunda said.
He said the release of the report clears government of any involvement in the death of the former rebel leader.
“It would give the people of Uganda an opportunity to know that there was nothing hidden, and indeed for the public to know exactly what happened, so in a way, the public exercising their rights to know how government handles issues and how one of their leaders was murdered… government has now got institutions built and able to handle things. But the key point is that both the government and the opposition want the report out and it is out,” he said.
Rugunda said investigation into the death of the former rebel leader was hindered because there was no functioning police department.
“You see, this murder took place when the police had been dismantled in 1987 and when law and order institutions were weak ... That is why we asked the Scotland Yard in London to assist us, and we are very happy that they have co-operated and given us the report,” he said.
Rugunda said the government did not intentionally delay or block the release of the controversial report.
“There was no deliberate decision not to publish the report. It was just that the institutions at that time did not adequately address the matter. And the matter has now been adequately addressed and as such, the report is now out,” he said.