By Vision reporters
DRAMA ensued in several places as more aspirants in the NRM party primaries hit the campaign trail yesterday to clinch votes to allow them contest in national and local government elections.
Chebrot accuses the Police of assault
The Kapchorwa Tingey county NRM primaries took a new twist with former minister Stephen Chebrot accusing the district Police commander (DPC), Charles Bingi, of assaulting him.
Chebrot, who was arrested over assaulting the DPC at the district Police station, accused Bingi of torture. The incident, the former minister said, occurred when he went to record a statement on the fracas at the registration centre.
â€œI demanded to record a statement but he objected. Bingi told me that I had caused the election violence in the district. I told him that he had been bribed and was acting unprofessional,â€ Chebrot said.
â€œHe stepped on my head and dragged me on the ground for about 40 meters. I could hardly breath. I was screaming and kicking helplessly. Bingi ordered policemen to get guns, remove my shirt, shoes and threw me into the cells,â€ he added.
Chebrot narrated that unrest erupted at the Pacific Hotel in Kapchorwa, where prospective NRM candidates had converged to discuss the results of the primaries.
He said NRM district presiding officer Sigoru Somikwo insulted him and vowed that he would not declare the results if Chebrot won.
â€œI became upset when he insulted me. He later fled when I walked towards him, jumped into Tingey MP Herbert Sabilaâ€™s vehicle and drove to the Police station,â€ said Chebrot, vowing to petition the Inspector General of Police, Kale Kayihura .
The regional Police commander, Joel Aguma, however, insists that Chebrot will be charged with assault and malicious damage to property. He allegedly broke a chair when his blow missed Somikwo.
Tables turned on labour state minister Dr. Emmanuel Otaala whom Teko Mudosi accused of assault and drawing a gun at him during a rally at Mulanda.
Otaala was arrested with six others but was released on bond on medical grounds as investigations continue, according to Aguma.
Mudosi is said to be in Tororo Hospital.
However, Otaala had earlier said his opponentâ€™s supporters attacked his camp with stones, sticks and bricks, forcing them to flee to a Police station 100 metres away. He also said his car was damaged in the attack and three of his supporters were critically injured.
Mudosi accused Otaala of taking his photographs without permission.
Kanungu candidates on their knees
Elizabeth Karungi Beikirize and Ruth Karungi Tukahirwa, fighting to grab the Kanungu Woman parliamentary seat from Jacqueline Kyatuhaire, were on their knees in all the campaign venues to plead for votes.
Karungi lost in 2006 to Kyatuhaire.
The kneeling tactic caught on with those eyeing the LC5 seats. Godfrey Karabenda went for it first. Others vying for the LC5 seat are incumbent Canon Josephine Kasya, the only Woman district chairperson in the country, and Kanungu mayor Godfrey Karabenda.
Kinkizi East MP Chris Baryomunsi is struggling to keep his seat, banking on the recent parliamentary score card which ranked him second best.
Over the weekend, he asked his electorate to give him more chance to perform. Rev. Kenneth Kanyankore, however, seeks to wrest his opponent out, saying there are gaps of poverty in the electorate, which he will bridge.
The third candidate, youthful James Kiiza, said he wants to fight corruption and ensure that the youth are empowered.
In Kinkizi West, security minister Amama Mbabazi faces rival Gad Rugaju Ahimbisibwe, who lost to him in 2006.
Muhwezi turns to boda-boda
Former health minister Maj Gen. Jim Muhwezi excited voters of Rujumbura in Rukungiri when he abandoned his posh Toyota Lexus and rode on a boda-boda to the campaign venues.
Muhwezi is contesting against his former junior minister, Dr. Alex Kamugisha. Quoting Micah 6:3, he read out the Bible verse: â€œMy people, what have I done to you, how have I been a burden to you? Answer me.â€
He added that he was the only one who can manage development projects in Rukungiri.
However, Kamugisha said Muhwezi failed in some areas like infrastructure, safe water and bringing health facilities nearer to the people.
For the women seat, public service state minister Prisca Sezi Mbaguta, an ex-officio in Parliament, intends to overthrow Winifred Matsiko.
The incumbent said: â€œMuseveni likes Rukungiri very much, that is why he picked Mbaguta and added her to the three MPs of Rukungiri. Let me remain your MP and Mbaguta keeps her position as minister because we all go to Parliament.â€
Tussling out for Rubabo parliamentary seat are David Ndindirize, Mary Paula Turyahikaho, Ernest Ngabirano, Lt. Godffery Katamba and Zirimwabanyagi.
At the district headquarters, Zedekia Karokora is seeking a second and last term. Others eyeing the seat are Charles Katebira and Yumbe resident district commissioner Charles Byamukama.
After the weekend violence, NRM party administrators in Arua threatened to expel candidates implicated in the unrest after rival camps of Ratib Buga and Eng. Dr. Gabriel Aridru Ajedra clashed at Awindiri old market.
A New Vision journalist was assaulted and his camera smashed in the fracas.
Those eyeing the LC5 seat are the incumbent, Richard Andama Ferua, Mohammad Ali Aluma and Jaber Andiga.
Kibale candidateâ€™s car stoned
In Kibale, Buyaga MP Barnabus Tinkasimire, who is fighting to retain his chair, said his car was pelted with stones.
The incident took place on Tuesday afternoon in Bwikara trading centre as he went for a campaign rally.
He accused Alinda, a relative of his rival Marcel Tibaleka, a retired commissioner of Police, of vandalising the car. But Tibaleka has denied involvement in the attack.
Kampala awaits register verdict
In Kampala Central, the NRM electoral commission will re-register the voters following aspirantsâ€™ complaints that one of the candidates had smuggled â€œghost votersâ€ into the register.
An official on the NRM electoral commission, Israel Kayonde, yesterday said there was an attempt to smuggle new names into the registers.
He could not say how many â€œghostsâ€ had been added on to the register and by whom. Kayonde also said the re-registration will be done using the biometric system.
Aspirants are the assistant resident district commissioner for Nakawa Division, Fred Bamwine, former Kampala Central MP Capt. Francis Edward Babu, Abdul Nsereko and Evrand Patel.
Other divisions started their campaigns last week. In Kawempe Division, John Andrew Kyambadde, who also hopes to run for the parliamentary seat, was nominated unopposed and so was the partyâ€™s flag-bearer for the LC3 chairmanâ€™s seat, Ahmed Ssemanda.