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Bundibugyo District police Commander, Alex Mwine Mukono, told Chimpreports that hell broke loose on Tuesday afternoon when a gang of hostile youth reportedly mobilised by Rwenzururu cultural leaders forcefully embarked on the renovation of Omusinga’s Shrine based in Kirindi village, Harugali Sub County without the consent of the police on Monday.
“Due to security threats arising from tribal sentiments, police was forced to block the youth from carrying out their activities since we were not duly informed.”
Mwine said police had earlier issued warnings to Rwenzururu king and other cultural leaders against crossing into the Bamba’s territory without clearance from authorities.
“When police blocked them, these unruly youth who were in possession of pangas, arrows, bows and stones turned violent and started fighting us,” said Mwiine.
As a result, police fired tear gas to disperse the rioters and in the scuffle one police officer identified as Christopher Ojiji was serious injured.
The officer’s gun was also stolen by the rioting youths.
The fighting comes against the backdrop of President Museveni’s warning against rivalry among kingdoms in Rwenzori region.
Attending Kamya’s coronation last week, Museveni urged kingdoms in the Rwenzori areas to live together in harmony.
“I appeal to you to stop the unnecessary rivalries among the cultural heads. You should always work out a win-win solution for the diverse communities in the respective regions,” said the President.
“No community is subservient to the other. Every community, big or small, was put here by God and must be respected. Anybody who cannot see this is in the wrong place.”
Bakari Muga Bashir, the Rwenzori Police Spokesperson, confirmed that 15 suspected ring leaders of the riot were arrested and detained at Bundibugyo police on charges of threatening violence and assaulting a police officer.
Bakari, who did not reveal the identities of the suspects for fear of jeopardizing the investigations, however, said the gun grabbed from an unconscious cop was later recovered by the LC3 Chairman David Harugali Kabyanga after being dumped in a Cocoa garden near Omusinga’s shrine.
But Mr Jeremiah Mutooro, the Deputy Prime minister Rwenzururu Kingdom, said he had earlier informed the District Chairperson Security Committee that people of Rwenzururu Kingdom had intentions of organizing themselves to renovate the Omusinga’s shrine