By Baluku Alex
Cultivators and pastoralists from Nyakatonzi sub-county in Kasese district today have joined hands to cause the arrest of a 53 year-year old man due to a prolonged drought for which they believe was responsible for.
Wilson Karamaji Kwerema, a resident of Bwanika village in Kamuli parish, a self-proclaimed rain maker was arrested by police in the sub-county on the orders of the farmers and pastoralists following a prolonged drought that has hit the area.
A section of farmers and pastoralists camped at the sub-county headquarters complaining that the accused person solicited money and physical items from them promising that rain would befall the area but in vain. They also said they decided to cause his arrest after observing that their crops had started drying up and cattle dying because of drought.
One of the residents in the area, Eva Kwegarukamu said that they regularly pay Kwerema or else as it is argued, their crops dries up and animals die due drought. She added that Kwerema has lately become very boastful of his powers, particularly when drunk.
They have since asked the authorities to force the accused person to vacate the sub-county. She says that no rain could come until all villagers collect offertories and go to his home to request him for the rain.
Speaking to our reporter, the Sub-county Chairperson, Swizin Bukenya, said they arrested the suspect to calm down the situation.
According to Bukenya, he was forced to notify the Katwe Divisional Police Commander, who then set tomorrow as the day for the accused person to appear before the residents and hence come up with a way forward.
In Kasese district, the worst drought occurred during the period between November 1982 and June 1983 (8 months) with a severity index of 43.2, and the deficit was 476.3mm.