Minister Kasolo, rival summoned over election – violence

Kyotera county incumbent MP and State Minister for Microfinance, Mr Haruna Kasolo. PHOTO/NMG. 

What you need to know:

  • The legislative seat race for Kyotera county has so far claimed one life, left scores injured and several arrested.

Police in Kyotera District have summoned State Minister for Microfinance and Small Enterprises, Mr Haruna Kasolo and his arch-rival Mr John Paul Mpalanyi over violent incidents that have marred their campaigns.

This follows a Friday evening incident at Nakatoogo Primary School playground in Nabigasa Sub County, Kyotera District where one person was killed and several others injured.

“Now, we have summoned them to help us with investigations and also advise them on how they can avoid similar incidents in future ” Mr Muhammad Nsubuga, the southern-regional police spokesperson, said over the weekend.

According to Police, there was a clash between supporters of rival camps (Mr Kasolo and Mr Mpalanyi)- right before Mr Mpalanyi’s rally at Nakatoogo Primary School playground and this prompted  police  to “swiftly   intervene.”

In the ensuing melee, Mr Nsubuga said a stray bullet fired by one police officer accidentally killed 44-year- old businessman Richard Kayabula, in Nakatoogo trading centre.

Several people were injured including; Mike Nalima,20, a barber in Nakatoogo Trading Centre, Ester Nabbaale,13,  a Primary Seven candidate at  Nakatoogo Primary School and Hakim Walukagga,35, a farmer in the same area and the trio is admitted at Kalisizo Hospital.

Mr Nsubuga further said five people from both camps have since been arrested in connection to the Friday incident.

Democratic Party Kyotera county MP aspirant, Mr John Paul Mpalanyi. PHOTO/NMG. 

However, Democratic Party [DP] flag bearer for Kyotera county, Mr Mpalanyi- accuses police of being partisan and dispersing opposition rallies under the pretext of enforcing Covid-19 Standard Operating Procedures [SOPs] yet they let ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) candidates to campaign freely.

“I wonder how Police in Kyotera operates because a day before our rally [Thursday], Mr Kasolo had organised a mammoth rally at Kalisizo playground in Kalisizo Town Council where he even hired local musicians to sing to supporters, but no single policeman appeared at that rally to enforce the Covid-19 guidelines,” he said.

This photo shows NRM supporters gathered at a mass rally organised by State Minister for Microfinance Mr Haruna Kasolo- during the 'official launch' of NRM candidates' joint campaigns in Kalisizo Town, Kyotera district, Dec. 03, 2020. PHOTO/AMBROSE MUSASIZI.

On the other hand, Mr Kasolo has since defended himself, saying people who attend his rallies observe social distancing and also wear face masks.

He also defended his supporters, saying in incidents where they have appeared fighting, they are always acting in self-defence after being attacked by people from Mpalanyi’s camp.

“My supporters are not violent, they only act in self-defence. Take the example of last Friday's incident at Nakatoogo trading centre, those people[from Mpalanyi’s camps] were moving around the village, beating up people who were putting on NRM yellow T-shirts.” He said.

Others in the race for the area parliamentary seat are;  Mr Godfrey Kirumira of National Unity Party (NUP), Mr Adam Tebajjwa (JEEMA), Mr Seregious Ndarike  (Independent)  and Mr Livingstone Ssali(Ind ).

On Thursday, Joseph Ssemazzi, a resident of Kalisizo Town was stabbed in the upper left arm by unknown people who  Mr Kasolo’s supporters baselessly claimed were from Mr Mpalanyi’s camp. He was rushed to Kalisizo Hospital in critical condition.

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