National
Water minister survives wrath of locals
Publish Date: Jan 23, 2014
Water minister survives wrath of locals
Minister Munaba (wearing a grey suit) being shielded from the rowdy crowd by other officials. PHOTO/Paul Watala
  • mail
  • img
newvision

By Paul Watala

The Police in Mbale fired bullets in the air to disperse a group of rice growers in Namatala wetland that attempted to lynch the State minister for Environment, Flavia Nabugere Munaba.

The minister, officials from the water ministry and leaders from Budaka, Bududa, Butaleja, Kibuku, Manafwa, Mbale, Pallisa and Tororo districts were on a tour of the wetland.

The wetland, which is shared by the eight districts is used for economic activities such as rice growing.

Trouble started when the residents mainly from Kibiniko and Khamoto villages in Bungokho sub-county expressed concern over the minister’s convoy, after it made a stopover at the wetland.

The residents sought an explanation from the Bungokho LC3 chairperson, Ahmed Washaki, about the motive of the abrupt visit, but he reportedly ignored them.

They then started raising the alarm, alerting their colleagues, who were tending their rice gardens. In less than 10 minutes, the rowdy group confronted the officials. Some of the residents shed tears, while others undressed and threatened to beat up the officials.

This prompted the minister and the other officials to flee.

Amidst the confusion, the residents roughed up Washaki who they accused of betraying them by agreeing to sell off their only source of livelihood.

“How can you start touring our land without letting us know? Time has come for you to kill us. You can shoot all of us, so that you take the wetland,” they said.

Efforts by the local leaders to calm the situation were in vain. This prompted the Elgon region Police commander, Jacob Opolot, to order the Police to shoot in the air to disperse the residents, as the terrified minister was whisked away into her official car.

The Police fired bullets in the air for about five minutes as the residents responded by throwing stones and charged towards the cars.

The residents later withdrew, but laid an ambush along the way, where they threw stones at the minister’s convoy, damaging her car and injuring a few people, including a Uganda Radio Network Journalist, Denis Olaka.

The minister’s convoy then used the Masanda-Musoto road back to the Bungokho sub-county headquarters.

Opolot said the minister and district leaders were uninjured, adding that the Police had started hunting for the authors of the mischief, to bring them to book. Munaba, Japanese officials and local leaders had earlier in the day held a meeting at Bungokho sub-county grounds.

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
Tinyefuza’s father hospitalized
THE father to exiled former intelligence chief Gen David Sejusa, aka Tinyefuza, Simon Peter Rwajojo, has been hospitalized at Uganda Heart Institute (UHI) –Mulago...
Court rejects petition against VP Ssekandi
THE Constitutional Court has rejected a petition that sought to have vice president Edward Ssekandi removed from office over allegations by his political rival Jude Mbabali...
Gov’t advised to use inclusive development to avoid conflicts
Government has been advised to come up with a comprehensive social development plan to avert future conflicts that may arise in the country....
Judicial, crime investigators trained in cybercrime case management
With the increasing cases of cybercrime in Uganda, officials from the chain of justice institutions have been trained in special computer skills to effectively handle the cases at various levels...
Ruhakana Rugunda new Prime Minister
Reports from State House indicate that health minister Ruhakana Rugunda has been appointed Prime Minister of Uganda. He will replace Amama Mbabazi who has been the premier since after the 2011 general election....
World population may hit 11 billion by 2100
The world population may grow larger than previously estimated, reaching 11 billion people by century''s end, a UN-led analysis says....
Should bride price be made optional?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter