Go Forward spokesperson, Josephine Nkangi, has asked the ruling party, NRM to restrains its boys from disrupting Amama Mbabazi’s rallies.
Nkangi was on Wednesday speaking to NBS TV from Kawuku-Ggaba on the subject of Ntungamo electoral violence where Mbabazi’s supporters clashed with those of President Yoweri Museveni last weekend.
“Ntungamo clashes broke out after a ‘yellow boy’ threw a brick,” Nkangi explained.
She said the locals and Mbabazi’s security ‘snapped’ and hell broke loose.
The incident left about seven NRM supporters injured and evacuated in a police helicopter to hospitals.
“We urge NRM boys to remain calm. We can’t control our people and them at same time. They are responsible for themselves,” Nkangi advised.
She added: “Personally, if I have a mosquito buzzing in my head, sooner or later, I will hit it.”
She said when in Jinja, police only pretended to protect Mbabazi and even in Ntungamo, they simply stared on as the clashes continued.
Mbabazi in a statement also accused police of looking on hopelessly instead of intervening and resolving the impasse.
On Tuesday, says Nkangi, plain-clothed police officers maintained their presence at Mbabazi’s offices Tuesday past 10pm.
There were fears that they wanted to arrest Mbabazi’s security personnel having blamed the incident on his kanyamas [Kayihura says they are militia].
“It is bizarre that IGP Kayihura blames Ntungamo violence on ‘Go Forward’ camp,” Nkangi noted.
Yesterday, Police Flying Squad operatives arrested the head of Go Forward security, Christopher Aine, and is believed to detained at Standard Investigations Unit [SIU] headquarters in Kireka.
Election violence already in action?
Afande Muleterwa Anatoli, Kampala Metropolitan Police Head of Community policing and Joshua Kitakule, the Secretary General Inter-Religious Council (IRCU), also appeared on NBS TV Wednesday to discuss election violence.
Anatoli called upon all parties involved in elections to stick to their roles.
“In my view, in Ntungamo, Police did its best. Police were never notified about the presence of ‘goons’ leading up to Ntungamo violence,” he said.
“If you are a candidate who wishes that your supporters clash, are you going to rule people who are dead?”
He said immediately after the Ntungamo clashes, IGP [Kale Kayihura] went there, some people have been arrested as investigations continue.
Anatoli said there is no desire on police’s part to blame anyone in this ongoing investigation on.
“There are challenges but Police’s ability to do what we do depends on your cooperation.”
He said it was astonishing that foreigners come here and are mesmerized by the country when Ugandans are yet to appreciate it.
Kitakule on the other hand, said in Ntungamo, he didn’t see voters, campaign managers come out and tell people to stop adding that more civic education was needed.
Kitakule says in Ntungamo, all parties involved were unable to read the telling signs before violence broke out.
“There’s moral decay in our country. Many see violence as a solution to everything. We need to deal with this mindset.”
He said campaigns come and go citing the post-election violence in Kenya, where images of Raila Odinga and Mwai Kibaki were seen as the two shared tea.
“All the public wants is police to be more proactive; be able to stop things from escalating without overreacting,” he said.
Kitakule said Members of Parliament were doing the government’s work (promising roads et al) and taking away voters’ responsibilities.
“Money is steadily killing our democracy. People are not listening to issues. Some people are paid to stage violence.”
“Those who are giving out money, Police is ready to arrest you. EC has come out strongly against campaign monetization.”
He said in post-Ntungamo clashes, Uganda needs to go beyond pointing fingers and focus on how to avoid a repeat.
“Elections are an event. They come and go. Let us love our country by exercising restraint.”