By Dismus Buregyeya
GUNSHOTS rocked Lwemiyaga in Ssembabule district yesterday when area MP Theodore Sekikubo and the Police engaged in running battles again.
Deputy Police commander Charles Nuwagira later opened a case of assault against Sekikubo whom he accused of obstructing him from his duties during the standoff. He also said he was roughed up by Sekikubo and his supporters.
The chaos erupted after Nuwagira intercepted Sekikubo at Lwenzo village where the MP was trying to stop officers from arresting his bodyguard, Alex Mugabi. Sekikubo was holding a rally there.
The southern regional Police commander, Fred Ssekiwere, yesterday said Mugabi is wanted over several cases.
â€œMugabi had assaulted one Benard Lutaaya in Ntusi.
He also left his station in Kampala without informing his commanders yet he is facing interdiction over previous criminal events,â€ he said.
Ssekiwere added that supported by Sekikubo, Mugabi resisted arrest and assaulted Nuwagira at about 5:30pm on Sunday.
Nuwagira, accompanied by Ssembabule district Police boss Iddi Kigenyi, had suggested that Sekikubo proceeds with the rally, while the Police arrest Mugabi.
Sekikubo instead stepped between Mugabi and the policemen and demanded a warrant of arrest from Nuwagira. â€œYou cannot take away my guard. Where is the summons? Did you serve him? How can you bring so many Police officers, including a deputy RPC, to arrest my guard over an assault case?â€ Sekikubo asked.
Sekikubo and Nuwagira grabbed each other and the scuffle was joined by Sekikuboâ€™s supporters. Some policemen fired bullets in the air as people formed a human shield around Mugabi, whom they led into Sekikuboâ€™s vehicle.
A weeping Sekikubo joined Mugabi in the car and drove off as the Police gave chase. His yellow shirt was torn in the scuffle.
The supporters waylaid the Police and blocked them from pursuing Sekikubo. But the MP instead drove to Mpumudde Police Post, where he also opened charges of assault against Nuwagira. He accused him of interrupting his rallies, including tearing his shirt.
Sekikubo and his arch-rival, Patrick Nkalubo, are holding separate rallies in the constituency to avoid clashes between their supporters.
In the meantime, a specialised anti-riot Police of 50 officers, under the command of Assistant Inspector of Police Biryabalema, deployed in Ssembabule to contain the violence.
Weeks ago, the MP and Mugabi were involved in another brawl with the Police at a polling centre in Lwemiyaga. A policeman allegedly shot by Mugabi during the standoff is still admitted at Kampala International Hospital. The Police officer in charge at the time was suspended.
Three bullets ripped through Katakazireâ€™s stomach, injuring his urinary tract and reproductive system. Mugabi was charged with attempted murder, while Sekikubo faces several counts, including obstructing the Police on duty, possession of an illegal firearm and theft of five basins, five pens and five exercise books of 96 pages valued at sh27,000. The items were being used for grassroot elections.
He has also been twice summoned to appear before the NRM party disciplinary committee to answer charges related to the elections in Lwemiyaga.
Ssekikubo and Mugabi denied the charges before chief magistrate Moses Katoroogo and were granted bail.
Ssekikubo allegedly obstructed Police officers Iddi Kigenyi and ASP Stephen Okwi Okedi.