Violence mars Bukedea LC5 polls preparations

Mr David Steven Omagor (centre)is assisted by his supporters yesterday. PHOTO/ SIMON PETER EMWAMU

What you need to know:

This is the second time in the run-up to the by-elections that Mr Omagor has been attacked.

An aspirant in the Bukedea LC5 by-election was yesterday assaulted by goons at the district’s Electoral Commission (EC) offices ahead of the polls set for June 14.

The attack on Mr David Steven Omagor reportedly happened in the presence of the police and other Electoral Commission officials.

In an interview with Daily Monitor after the attack, the 59-year-old, who was being supported by some of his aides, said he had gone to the EC for nomination when he was attacked.

He added that although he was the only aspirant on the nomination list for yesterday’s exercise and he reported to the offices earlier in the day, the district returning officer, Mr Suleiman Kato, told him to return at 2pm.

“I returned at quarter to 2pm. While getting out of my on car with my associates, the goons totaling almost 50 pounced on me, beat me up, and made off with our nomination papers,” Mr Omagor said.

After the attack, Mr Omagor, whose clothes had been torn, reportedly approached Mr Kato for assistance. The returning officer advised him to report the matter to the police, which annoyed Mr Omagor’s supporters.

“How do you send us to the people who superintended over the beating of our candidate who was coming for nomination at the EC premises? It is clear that they don’t want the candidate of the people to be nominated, because he is the people’s choice,” Mr James Okello, one of Omagor’s aids, said.

By press time yesterday, Mr Kato had yet to make a statement on the attack.

When Daily Monitor contacted the District Police Commander, Mr Charles Okoto, for a comment, he referred us to Mr Oscar Ageca, the East Kyoga region police spokesperson. 

However, when contacted, Mr Ageca said he would get back to us but had yet to do so by press time.

This is not the first time that Mr Omagor has been attacked.

On Sunday, unidentified men, who were reportedly wearing police attire, raided his home in Emokori Ward and made off with his nomination papers and Shs162m, which was meant to aid his campaigns.

One of Mr Omagor’s aides was arrested and by press time was still in police detention.

In the run-up to the 2016 elections, unidentified assailants raided his home and killed his mother.

Mr Omagor was set to contest as an independent candidate in the by-elections. It is now unclear whether he will continue his bid for the seat.

The seat fell vacant following the death of the previous office bearer Moses Olemukan. Olemukan died in December last year due to illness.

Mr Omagor decided to contest for the LC5 position after Olemukan’s daughter, Ms Loyce Akiror, who had earlier expressed interest in the position, pulled out of the race.

Ms Akiror’s decision followed a meeting at State House where it was decided that Ms Mary Akol would contest for the position on the National Resistance Movement (NRM) ticket.

Ms Akiror subscribes to the NRM party. 

Mr Omagor’s decision to contest in the by-elections was welcomed by a section of the public which was not happy with the ruling party’s move to front Ms Akol for the position, saying she had been imposed on them.

However, Ms Akol said it was the people’s will that she be entrusted with the NRM party flag.

 Others in the race include Pius Edekeny (Independent), Paul Okiria (National Unity Platform), Sam Oita Odeke (Forum for Democratic Change), and Lokwiisk Tychicus Ebukalin (Independent).

About Omagor

Mr David Steven Omagor was born in Kachumabla County and is a qualified accountant. He is currently into consultancy and works with Genesis Consults Limited. He previously worked with Uganda Revenue Authority for several years.