It is now almost a week by after the by-elections that took place in northern Uganda – Arua municipality in order to fulfill the blank space in the Ugandan parliament. Kasiano wadri worn the by erection replacing Con. Iblahim Abiriga who was Killed.
ABIRIGA Ibrahim Background and death
He was killed short dead together with his bodyguard by two men moving on a motorcycle as he was approaching the gate to his home in Wakiso District. By the time of his death, he was into his first term as a member of parliament having been elected in the 2016 general elections.
While fulfilling his duties as a member of parliament in the house he was one of the staunchest proponents of the move to amend the constitution so as to have the 75 – years upper age limit for the president removed. Before that he served in the Amy of then – Ugandan president Idi Amin Dada before he joined the National Resistance Army and finally in the UPDF where he held the rank of Colonel.
Before joining politics, Abiriga served as the RDC for Arua for 12 years following his appointment by president Museveni in 2001, he was then moved to Yumbe in a similar role before he resigned to run for the Arua Municipality seat.
By – Election
After that incident of the death of Con. Ibrahim Abiriga a Member of parliament the electoral commission in the Republic of Uganda had to organize a by-election in Arua to fill the blank space of the gone Member of parliament which later turned to a killing and human violence.
About 40,000 voters in Arua Municipality cast ballot to pick a replacement for their late MP Ibrahim Abiriga. Voters spoilt for choice due to the number of the candidates in the by-election which doubled to 12.
But in reality the contest was between three, perhaps four, front-runners including former Igara grower tea factory Ltd general manager Robert Ejiku, Fiery ex – Terego legislator Kassiano Wadri and Nusura Tiperu, along – time lawmaker who represented the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM).
It was an election to lose for Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) party candidate Bruce Musema, an early favorite going into the nominations and before the current Arua MP Hon Wadri threw his hat in the political ring.
This followed the fallout that rocked FDC after Mr. Musema was given a direct ticket. All these contestants who were in these by erections are educated and many are experienced in politics or development works.
What informed voters a choice?
A legislator principal constitutional duty includes making laws, representing constituents’ views, allocating and providing oversight in use of national resources. There is also a residual task of lobbying for development from the government as well as development partners.
But voters in Arua Municipality, like their counterparts in most Ugandan constituencies, rarely elect leaders exclusive on the basis of their ability to deliver in prescribed roles. Religion and tribe are two huge influence in Uganda politics. A lingering divisionism over the failed split of the stalled city status introduced suspicious and even hostility in electoral alliances.
There is a cursory split between the urbane, many residing in Arua Hill division and generally better off, and comparably the less gifted river Oli division residents who outnumber and turn out generously to cast the ballot. This is why the Arua by Election, at least among the top three candidates it was very close to call before the casting but later finally gave Wadri a victory which he celebrated while in Jail.
Violence and Torture
Like other campaigns in Uganda, the by-elections days have been marred by pockets of violence. In Enyau Kebiri cell, supporters of the current elected MP Wadri who contested as an independent candidate smashed the windscreens of the car which belonged to the Arua Municipality Mayor Issa Kato.
The angry wadri supporters accused the mayor of carrying pre-ticked ballot papers that scuffle ensued in which one person was injured. The windscreens of the car used by Kato and his group was also vandalized, just focusing him to abandon the venue. This led to the lockdown of Arua town due to heavy deployment of both police and army, patrolling all the corners of the town.
The soldiers had unleashed the newly manufactured Vehicles to help in patrols. The vehicles fitted with automatic guns had been strolling leisurely, with the finger of the gun operators on the trigger, ready to shoot. In all this affection even the presidential vehicle’s grass was smashed.
Four MPs were locked up over the violence that rocked Arua on the last day of campaigns including Robert Kyagulanyi, aka, Bobi Wine of kyadondo East, Francis Zaake of Mityana Municipality, Gerald Karuhanga of Ntungamo Municipality and Paul Mwiru of Jinja Municipality. According to the police spokesperson in Uganda, the four lawmakers had guns.
The former Makindye East representative Mike Mabikke and the current Elected MP of Arua Hon Kassiano Wadri for whom they went to drum up support were arrested alongside two NTV Uganda journalists and very many other Ugandans arrested as suspects in the violence, it followed the confrontations between the security forces and opposition supporters late on the campaign last day on which the Bobi wine’s driver Yasin Kawuma, was shot dead and six others sustained gunshot wounds.
The police preferred charges of obstruction and malicious damage to property against the lawmakers and their co-accused. Later after few days, the charges against Bobi wine changed in addition of treason where he was brought before the general court-martial and was remanded up to this coming Thursday.
All these lawmakers so far are in bad health conditions with their families and people accusing the security agencies of torture. Different human rights organizations in Uganda and throughout the world have come out against the condition behind the lives in which these MPs are in now.
So far those who have managed to see the kyadondo East MP Kyagulanyi Ssentamu aka Bobi wine says that he needs critical players. “Hon. Kyagulanyi Ssentamu is badly brutalized, he couldn’t speak, he couldn’t see. He has a wound on the back of his head. He can’t stand, he can’t sit I think the situation is bad he needs players” said Medard Sseggona on phone with a local TV station (NBS TV).
By: BYANSI Samuel Baker