The Minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Maj Gen Kahinda Otafiire, has cautioned voters against electing Asuman Basalirwa as Bugiri Municipality Member of Parliament (MP), saying “it will increase violence in the country.”
While addressing a campaign rally at Bukooli Technical playground on Monday, Gen Otafiire said if Basalirwa, the Jeema candidate is voted into Parliament, he will join other Opposition figures like Kyadondo East MP, Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu popularly known as Bobi Wine and others to sabotage government programmes.
“My dear Ugandans, let us not engage in bad acts and vote for the National Resistance Movement (NRM) candidates in order to improve on the country’s economy,” he said, advising that voting the rightful candidates will help in implementing government programmes.
“Some government programmes have not been implemented in constituencies across the country due to Opposition MPs fighting the (NRM) government,” he said.
Gen Otafiire then urged people to remain calm and avoid violence during campaigns and after elections to ensure peace prevails in the country.
The NRM secretary general, Justine Kasule Lumumba, expressed concern over a group of people from Kampala allegedly led by Bobi Wine whom she claimed are engaging in lawlessness within the area.
She appealed to the police to intervene, fearing more people risk being injured during Election Day and that the matter has been addressed to the police for intervention ahead of the July 27 election.
The NRM spokesperson Mr Rogers Mulindwa says two of their party supporters were last evening attacked and stabbed by unknown people on their way from Gen Otafiire’s rally.
The regional police spokesperson, Mr James Mubi who confirmed the attack on Tuesday said Mr Faisal Mugoya and Ms Robinah Nekesa were admitted to one of the healthy facilities in Bugiri ad police hunt for the suspects. Nekesa was attacked as she moved with her two children aged one and nine months.
Meanwhile, Mr Basalirwa has accused police of failing to arrest their officer who allegedly shot his bodyguard at a rally.
Ramanthan Walyendo, a member of Mr Basalirwa’s security detail who succumbed to gunshot wounds he sustained last Thursday during a campaign rally was on Friday laid to rest in accordance with his Islamic faith.
However, Mr Basalirwa says the bullet Walyendo took was meant for him.
“It wasn’t a stray bullet because a stray bullet can’t hit in the chest. Up to now police has failed to single out the shooter yet the [Bugiri] DPC was on ground and was in command. The tyres of the trailer I was travelling were shot and flattened,” Mr Basalirwa who doubles as the Jeema president told journalists in Kampala.
“We are not politicking. We are still investigating and looking for the police office. We don’t work on pressure just simply because a certain politician has interests,” said the regional police spokesperson, Mr James Mubi when contacted on phone.
Walyendo was hit in the chest as a group of Basalirwa’s supporters engaged the police and was rushed to First Line Medical Centre within the municipality, before he was transferred to Bugiri Hospital in critical condition.
Mr Basalirwa warned police against indulgence in violence, adding that Ugandans have freedom of movement and association.
But Mr Mubi last week blamed Basalirwa’s supporters for throwing stones at police officers who were assigned to ensure no rally is held at Busoga University playgrounds.
This Friday, voters take to the polls to elect a Mayor and MP for the newly created Bugiri municipality.
Three candidates are vying for the MP seat and they include Asuman Basalirwa (Jeema) Eunice Namatende (FDC) and Joel Wamono, an independent.
The would-be fourth candidate, Hajji Siraj Lyavala, formerly the district chairman, recently stepped down from the race in favour of Basalirwa.