Ntungamo speaker pepper sprayed ahead of council meeting

Wednesday January 15 2020

Ntungamo District Council Speaker, Mr Elijah

Ntungamo District Council Speaker, Mr Elijah Atuhaire. PHOTO BY ALFRED TUMUSHABE 

By PEREZ RUMANZI & ELLY KATAHINGA

The Speaker of Ntungamo District Council Mr Elijah Atuhaire was on Wednesday attacked by unknown people who hurled pepper (flour) on him in his office as he was preparing for a council meeting. The incident happened at around 11am.

“Two people unfamiliar to me entered my office, started throwing pepper at me before the police guard fought them away. He sustained injuries on his knee and his trouser got torn,” he said.

The attackers were arrested before they could flee the building. Mr Atuhaire was taken to Ntungamo Universal Clinic for medical examination and later returned to his office.

The District Police Commander Mr Damian Katwesiime said that the two people were still being interrogated to establish the motive behind the attack. He added that the attackers hail from Rutunguru village in Karagama Town Council, but he did not reveal their identities.

It is reported that a section of councillors had planned to move a motion to remove the LC5 Chairperson, Mr Dennis Singahache, from office accusing him of nepotism and corruption. Mr Atuhaire is said to be supportive of the move and he has also announced that he will contest for the LC5 seat in the next election.

There was another drama earlier in the morning as the keys for administration block went missing, denying district employees and councillors access to their offices.

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Mr Bashir Kamwesiga, an office clerk, delivers the keys to the police station every evening and picks them every morning around 6.30am. However this time the keys could not be found until around 10.30am.

Mr Katwesiime (DPC) delivered the keys and said they were at police station but had not been kept in the usual place, so they could not be easily seen. However, Mr Singahache blamed the confusion on the Speaker (Mr Atuhaire) and councilors (Mr Naboth Mpirirwe and Mr Denis Muhumuza Savimbi) whom he accused of pushing for his removal from office.

“These people can do anything, they must have hidden the keys, and I am informed they have signed a motion to impeach me. I’m not scared but they want just to cause disorganisation so that they may have the grounds. They are counting on politics of division,” he said.

Mr Savimbi said; “Yes we have a motion to impeach him but that doesn’t call for closure of district offices, we don’t know how and where office keys had got lost.”

The council session started later around 12.45pm and was still going by press time (5.30pm). Mr Singahache, 73, had announced that he will retire from elective politics at the end of his term in 2021, but he recently changed his mind and said he will seek a third term because he is yet to see a capable successor.

editorial@ug.nationmedia.com

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