A man who was arrested on orders of President Museveni for uttering “sectarian statements” has been fined Shs1m after pleading guilty to the charges before court.
Mr William Tandeka, 52, was arrested from his home in Gomba District on January 2, according to Rwizi Region Police Commander Robert Walugembe.
Mr Tandeka was later transferred to Rwizi region offices in Mbarara and on Friday charged before the magistrates’ court in Kiruhura with promoting sectarianism.
Addressing a press conference on Friday, Mr Walugembe said Mr Tandeka committed the offence at a wedding in Kamugira Cell, Rushere Parish, Kenshunga Sub-county, on December 28.
The sectarian utterances
He said while at Mr Godwin Mabona’s wedding function, Mr Tandeka made sectarian utterances during his speech that was recorded and circulated on social media, especially WhatsApp.
The man is said to have urged the two Banyankole sub-groups – Bairu and Bahima – not to intermarry.
“He stated this in the local dialect Runyankole to be specific, while uttering the following: ‘Nkakugambira aha kuziika kwasho nakweshengyereza nti waaba nonkunda otarishweera omwiru.
Literary meaning that during the burial of Mabona’s father, I pleaded with you that if you love me, you should never marry a Mwiru,” Mr Walugembe said.
“He went ahead to say; ‘Ninkukakasa ogu omwishikyi ti Mwiru … literally meaning, “I assure you that the girl you have married is not a Mwiru…”
Mr Museveni made the directive for the man to be arrested during the Christmas holiday after he saw the recordings in which the sectarian utterances were made. The President said such statements are intended by “fools” to demean other ethnic groups of people.