District boss assaults RDC for enforcing government directives

In hot soup. Bunyangabu District chairman Mr James Ategeka. FILE PHOTO ALEX ASHABA

What you need to know:

  • The lawmakers across the political spectrum demanded action against the LC5 chairman.

There was drama at Bunyangabu District headquarters in Kibiito Tuesday when the district chairman attempted to slap the Resident District Commission who had come to enforce the presidential directives in the fight against the spread of coronavirus.
The district chairman, Mr James Ategeka assaulted Ms Jane Asiimwe and called her names before he was arrested by police. The chairman was trying to block the RDC and her coronavirus taskforce from taking away the government vehicle in line with the presidential directive.

The Rwenzori west Police spokesperson, Mr Vincent Twesige told Daily Monitor on Monday, Mr Ategeka failed to handover a government vehicle and incited violence.
“We have arrested Bunyangabu district chairman after failing to handover a government vehicle to the district Covid-19 response team. He was also inciting violence with public address system telling people to continue working (contrary to the presidential directives),” Mr Twesige said.

A video captured by one of the eyewitnesses shows a charged LC5 chairman attempting to slap the RDC before he was restrained by a group of officials. The video that went viral on the social media was a subject of discussion in Parliament yesterday. The lawmakers across the political spectrum demanded action against the LC5 chairman. Finance Minister Matia Kasaija however promised an investigation into the matter.
Although it was not possible to speak to the LC5 chairman since he was under police custody, when contacted Ms Asiimwe, declined to provide the details and only confirmed that she was assaulted by the district chairman.

“The RDC had ordered Ategeka to pack the car and he got angered and slapped her,” another eyewitness explained.
Councillor Kato Husein, who was also present, told Daily Monitor that “The chairman was using his car to supply handwashing materials to the people, and he used loudspeakers to address the people in trading centres. The RDC said he should park the car as per the presidential directive. The chairman refused and shouted with anger. Both exchanged hot words and the chairman swung to slap her but we pulled him away.”

President Museveni directed that all government vehicles held by local governments be handed over to the district health officers to help the district coronavirus taskforce respond to emergencies of coronavirus. Every district countrywide has Covid-19 response team to respond to emergencies.
Mr Twesige said after the arrest of the chairman, the government car that he has been driving was impounded and handed over to the district health taskforce of Covid-19 response team. Currently, 31 Ugandans and 2 Chinese nationals are confirmed to have the virus. The government has since declared a lockdown to curb the spread of the deadly virus.

Other eyewitnesses who did not want to disclose their names accused Mr Ategeka of skipping coronavirus task force meetings and when he came back from Kampala on Monday, he used public address system to sensitise the people in contravention of the presidential directives.