In Uganda, the government is reportedly blocking the release of a report of an investigation into the assassination of former rebel leader Andrew Kayira. Kayira was the leader of the then rebel Uganda freedom movement, which fought former president Milton Obote’s regime in the 1980’s. He was killed in 1997 in a friend’s house outside the capital. The opposition Democratic Party (DP) has accused the government of failing to release the report and is threatening to do so. But the government has warned the Democratic Party against any attempt to publish the report without adhering to laid down regulations.
Ruhakana Rugunda is Uganda’s internal affairs minister. He said the government would give the controversial report a careful consideration before publishing it.
“Government believes in the rule of law, so the position is, that government would consider that report and take a decision on its publication and in my own opinion I have no problems about publishing the report. Secondly, the Democratic Party says it wants to publish the report. All I’m advising is that they are at liberty like any one else to do what they want to do. But they should do in accordance with the laws of the land,” he said.
Rugunda said he had talks with executives of a newspaper, which misquoted him about the government’s position on the controversial report.
“I have already discussed the matter with the leadership of the news paper thus the Monitor newspaper and today, they put a correction which accurately conveyed the position I did speak to them about,” Rugunda noted.
He reiterated the government’s position on the yet to be released report.
“The position again is simple, that the government would consider the report and take a position in publishing it. And number two, in my own view, I see no problems about publishing the report irrespective of the content, and number three if the Democratic Party wants to publish the report, they should do so but do so in accordance with the laws of the land,” he said.
Rugunda said though it has taken a long time for the release of the report, government has had other pressing national issues which needed more attention.
“It has not been a deliberate policy of government to sit on the report. But the government has been really handling many different issues but now that this matter is up, that is why government is going to consider and take a position on the matter, “ he said.
Rugunda urged Ugandans to be patient and wait for the government’s position on the report.
“Let us wait for the collective position of government, and you and the rest of the world and people in Uganda would be able to know government’s position soon. I do not want to arrogate myself to declare the position of government before we give further consideration of the matter by the responsible organs of government,” he said.