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Parliament wants Arua chaos investigated

By Nicholas Wassajja, Paul Kiwuuwa

Added 14th August 2018 09:55 PM

The chaos was sparked off by a clash between the supporters of independent candidate Kassiano Wadri and those of Nusura Tiperu of the National Resistance Movement (NRM).

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The chaos was sparked off by a clash between the supporters of independent candidate Kassiano Wadri and those of Nusura Tiperu of the National Resistance Movement (NRM).

A statement by the minister of internal affairs, Gen. Jeje Odongo, explaining the arrest of lawmakers and the shooting in Arua Municipality that claimed the life of Yasin Kawuma has roundly been rejected by Parliament.

The MPs instead called for further investigations to establish circumstances under which the presidential motorcade was attacked leaving the hind windscreen of President Yoweri Museveni’s official car smashed.

They also tasked Government to carryout investigations into who shot Kawuuma and another person that is yet to be identified.

On Monday, chaos broke out in Arua town, leading to the death of Kawuma, the Kyadondo East MP, Robert Kyagulanyi's driver and one other unidentified person, while MPs, Paul Mwiru (Jinja East), Gerald Karuhanga (Ntungamo Municipality), Francis Zaake (Mitayana Municipality), Francis Gonahasa (Kabweri County) and former Makindye East MP, Michael Mabikke ended up in custody.

The chaos was sparked off by a clash between the supporters of independent candidate Kassiano Wadri and those of Nusura Tiperu of the National Resistance Movement (NRM).

During the fracas, Wadri and  his campaign team were also rounded up and taken to unknown places, while Nation media journalists Herbert Zziwa and Ronald Muwanga were also arrested

In his statement, Odongo said, “yesterday at around 6pm, supporters of Wadri and some MPs led by Kyagulanyi, at Prisons Cell in Arua town, obstructed and attacked the presidential motorcade which left the hind windscreen of the President's official car with a national emblem shuttered.”

He added that to avoid further escalation of the violence, the Police used extra force to disperse the crowd. He said nvestigations are underway to establish the officer responsible for shooting Kawuma.

Odongo said, "as the President was heading to Boma grounds for the final rally of the NRM candidate, a truck decorated with red ribbons attempted to block his passage,” which means that the events that later unfolded could have been premeditated.

Describing the said attack on the presidential motorcade as criminal, Odongo used the platform to caution that general public that, “impunity of whatever kind or amount shall not be tolerated because NRM fought for freedom of thought and choice and will resist any attempt to avert it.”

The tough talking General said that a mechanism should be put in place to discourage political processions because they are worthless, except for creating wrong impressions and biases to change voters’ mindsets.

However, the Maracha East MP, James Acidiri argued that because Odongo’s statement was littered with insincerity and inconsistences, Parliament needs to commission a comprehensive and independent investigation to establish what exactly happened.

“Hon. Kyagulanyi’s car was parked at Pacific Hotel, but the Minister is saying the MPs driver (Kawuma) was killed during the procession which is not true thats why we need to find out what happened exactly,” said Acidiri.

For MPs Andrew Baryayanga (Kabale Municipality) and Wilberforce Yaguma (Kashaari County), the statement that the Presidents armoured car was smashed by mere stones is suspicion.

Yaguma said: “the investigation is important because the President’s life might be in danger if his car can be shuttered by mere stones. We also need to investigate who procured these fake cars for the President and who the supplier is and the motive behind having such a product for the Head of State.”

On his part, Muwanga Kivumbi (Butambala County) asked the Speaker to exploit her privileged position to order the Police for the unconditional release of Wadri and the MPs.

In response, Speaker Rebecca Kadaga, pledged that because Wadri has a constitutional right to vote and be voted for, she was going to call the Police and order for his immediate release and his campaign team including the MPs.

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