Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Market fires might end up burning the entire country


For the second time in as many years, the sprawling Park Yard Market in downtown Kampala has been reduced to ashes. The origin of the Sunday morning fire remains mysterious and controversial.

Judging from previous devastating fires in the last quarter of a century, it is unlikely that we shall get any further helpful information beyond speculation, conjecture and innuendo.

Looking back in this period, the list of 'famous fires' is long. One of the earliest known fires in this epoch of Uganda's history was the fire in the late 80s at Bulange (Republic House) which was by then the headquarters of the National Resistance Army (NRA). It was purportedly to destroy evidence of ghost soldiers in the records department. Then the burning of people in the 'Burchoro pit incident' in Acholi land allegedly by the NRA around the same period.

We had the fires of the Kibwetere cult in 2000, the burning of the students in Kichwamba in 2001 blamed on the Allied Democratic Forces rebel group and arson on several villages in Northern Uganda, including Atiak, whose liability was supposedly on the shoulders of the LRA.

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