Arua – Stones to Votes
hrown, Guns found….allegedly!
The race to replace the late Ibrahim Abiriga as representative in the Parliament had 12 contestants, all pleading for over 18,000 voters in 65 polling stations. The 12 contestants being Kassiano Wadri (Independent), Jackson Lee Buti Atima (Independent), Robert Ejiku (Independent), Francis Elton Nyero Lakelle (Independent), Sunday Jershem Moses Anguandia (Independent), Alfred Nyakuni (Independent), Simon Avutia (Independent), Saffi Bavuga Aganasi (Independent), Nusura Tiperu (NRM), Bruce Musema (FDC), Kennedy Madira (DP) Ja’afar Alekua (JEEMA)
The final day of campaigns got heated up when members of the parliament, and President Yoweri Kagutu Museveni all proceeded to Arua Municipality, to lobby support for their respective candidates. Members of Parliament include the vibrant always in red, self-proclaimed ghetto president, Hon Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine, Francis Zaake and others.
The clashes happened at about 6:30pm, when the presidential convoy collided with the lead opposition candidate Kassiano Wadri, at Ediofe Road. One of the cars in the presidential convoy was stoned and this birthed all the other events that unfolded, including a stray bullet that claimed Yassin Kawuma’s life at Hotel Pacific.
Both the Police and The Army (UPDF & Special Forces), went into a search and ended up detaining Hon Robert Kyagulanyi, Francis Zaake, Kassiano Wadri, Journalist Herbert Zziwa and 4 others. Herbert Zziwa was later released on Tuesday morning, but the state of others was unknown until much later on Tuesday.
The voting went on smoothly with less commotion in all the 65 polling stations. All the contestants participated in the voting except for Kassiano Wadri, who was detained on Monday evening. The Electoral Commission kept its mandate as they delivered voting materials on time, and worked well with the police to ensure a peaceful voting process for the locals of Arua Municipality.
Back in Kampala: Hon. Rebecca Kadaga, Speaker of Parliament demanded the OPM to address the house on the status of their fellow law makers, as demanded by the new leader of the opposition Hon. Betty Aol Ochan
The OPM, represented by Deputy Prime Minister, Moses Ali, reported saying that Hon Robert Kyagulanyi was in poor health in Gulu Military Hospital, and would later face the General Court Martial as he was found with a gun. The Deputy Prime didn’t mention what kind of gun was found with the Honourable, which led to many speculations that the government might be making up evidence. The deputy also failed to answer the house when they questioned him of Hon Francis Zaake, whose gruesome images went viral on social media with broken ears, swollen eyes and damaged fingers and this set the house into fury!
7:00pm – 10:00pm
Tallying of the voters was underway with Arua Public Nursery and Primary School as the main tallying centre. Kassiano Wadri, who is still behind bars was declared overall winner at around 9:47pm, with approximately 38% of the total votes in results announced by EC’s returning officer Ruth Angom Ococ. Only NRM’s Nusura Tiperu, the only female candidate out of the batch came close with a tally of 4,798 votes.
We all wait to see what happens next to Arua Municipality’s MP Elect, Mr Kassiano Wadri, Members of parliament Hon Robert Kyagulanyi, Francis Zaake and the rest that where detained on Tuesday evening.