Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Fr. Clement Kiggundu

Former Editor of Muno newspaper.

Father Clement Kiggundu, Munno Editor, was murdered in January 1973. His body was found burnt in the wreckage of his car. He died around the same time Mr Kalema disappeared, plus others like Dr Sembeguya,Jolly Joe Kiwanuka, Paul Bitature

Immediately after 1971 coup d’etat, Idi Amin hosted journalists and gave a bull to Rev.Fr.Clement Kiggundu, for exposing excesses of Obote l regime. In reply, Kiggundu told Amin, that the relative tolerance under Obote regime allowed him to expose those excesses. He prayed that Amin should do better. But when Munno Newspaper continued exposing detention of civilians in military barracks which provoked Amin operatives to burn Father Kiggundu inside his car in Namanve!
Ahmed Katerega
Newvision Journalist and member of UAH

Father Clement Kiggundu, the editor of the Catholic newspaper Munno in Kampala, decided to travel to Masaka, and told his driver to wait for hin in his office.  When he did not arrive the driver called the priest's house in Kisubi, 23 Km away along the Kampala-'Entebbe road.  Another priest answered that Father Kiggundu was not in the house and that he had not come back the night before.  Very much concerned, his colleagues began to telephone around.  They also telephoned the archbishop of Rubaga, but in vain.  About 3pm, the telephone rang in the newspaper office.  An unfamiliar voice said that a red peugeot, similar to the one used by the preist had been found in Namanve forest.  All members of the editorial staff rushed to the spot and found the car burnt to a shell.  About 15 yards from the vehicle there was a body, a horrifying sight.  Although it was half-burnt, they succeeded in identifying the priest from a piece of a clerical white collar and the shoes he was wearing.  They took Father Kiggundu to Mulago Hospital where the autopsy revealed that before setting fire to the car his murderers had strangled him.  A bullet was found lodged in his chest.  The day before his death, Father Kiggundu had visited the parish priest of Lueza and told him "I feel that they are pursuing me; now, they are about to take me."

Why was the editor of Munno killed so savagely?"  The common explanation is that when Amin decided to expel all indians from the country, Father Kiggundu had the courage to write in the newpaper that it was an unjust decision and against some individuals with Ugandan citizenship.  Among them there were not only businessmen, but also children, elderly people and the sick.  The newspaper wrote; "it is like in South Africa."

A former minister in Amin's Cabinet declared later on that Father Kiggundu was killed and burnt in his car by killers hired by Amin.  This was because he had had the courage to publish in his newspaper the complaints and the protests of the women whose husbands had mysteriously disappeared or had been publicly tortured.  These women had organized a conference in Kampala in November 1972 at which they had criticized the government for the repeated episodes of violence that were perpetrated and remained unpanished. They had also demanded that an explanation should be given for the disappearance of so manyh innocent people.  Munno had given voice to these protests.  From the office of the President, Father Kiggundu was told to stop writing.  But the fealess priest carried on despite warnings and threats by govenment.

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