Gunshots rocked Rugyeyo Trading Centre in Kanungu District yesterday as police attempted to block hundreds of supporters from welcoming Kinkizi East MP Chris Baryomunsi.
Dr Baryomunsi, who was charged with conspiracy to commit a felony in relation to the death of Butaleja Woman MP Cerinah Nebanda, was returning to his constituency a week after police arrested him in Fort Portal.
The politician, who was part of the team of MPs who observed Nebanda’s post-mortem examination, was on his way to Kanungu for Christmas, which he ended up spending in a police cell in Kampala.
And at about 2:30pm yesterday, as Dr Baryomunsi, accompanied by hundreds of supporters and more than 80 boda boda cyclists entered Rugyeyo Town, hell broke loose. Police fired in the air to disperse the group, which it accused of using the “wrong route”.
In the ensuing melee, four people sustained serious injuries while tens of others suffered minor injuries.
The Kigezi regional police commander, Ms Olivia Wawire, said the clash happened because the legislator’s supporters ignored directives on where to pass.
“The locals became violent and the police opted to shoot in the air to scare them way. Nobody was shot at and the situation is now normal,” Ms Wawire said.
She denied claims by some local leaders that the police had shot at the crowd, saying injuries were mainly sustained by people falling down as they scampered from the police.
But Dr Baryomunsi said he personally transported two seriously injured people to Kasate Health Centre while two others were transported by his supporters to private clinics in Kanungu Town Council.
“The police used excessive force to humiliate my supporters. What is wrong with voters marching with their leader in a convoy?” Dr Baryomunsi said.
Information that reached this newspaper last evening indicated that one person was injured in the leg by a stray bullet. He was admitted to Kambuga Health Centre.
The MP, however, addressed his supporters at Kanungu playgrounds.