The NRM Chairman for Bukwo district in Sebei region, as a way of expressing his dissatisfaction with state managed violence, has defected to opposition Forum for Democratic Change [FDC].
Wilfred Sali Makusita, the LC III chairperson of Senedet Sub-county, declared his defection Wednesday after police led by Gerald Twishime, the regional police commander Sipi region, fired rubber bullets at presidential candidate, Kizza Besigye’s entourage.
The locals had asked Besigye to visit them at an internally displaced person’s camp in Kapkoros, Teriet in Senedet Sub-county only to be met with bullets and tear gas.
Several locals were injured in the scuffle with police and rushed to Bukwo Hospital for treatment.
Besigye, FDC Secretary General, Nandala Mafabi, Secretary for mobilisation, Ingrid Turinawe, and Sadik Amin, the party’s secretary for defence and security, were also injured.
After witnessing the violence which he termed as unnecessary, Makusita announced that he had crossed from the ruling NRM party to FDC.
“I am the NRM chairman in this area and chairman for LC3s in Bukwo district as well LC5s in Sebei sub region,” Makusita introduced himself to press.
“I am not happy with what has happened here today [teargas],” he boldly stated.
He said unless government re-settles Bukwo residents, he will never vote for it again.
In February 1993, when Mt Elgon Forest Reserve was elevated to a national park status 4,000 residents living in the Park were violently evicted by UWA rangers and the UPDF soldiers.
It was not until 2012 that government decided to relocate about 400 of these groups in Kapkoros Teriet Internally Displaced Person’s Camp in Senedet Sub-county, Bukwo district.
The people claim their land was confiscated by government and forced to live in camps.
Makusita said for that matter, together with residents, they had decided to support FDC.
“We are going to deny the NRM our votes completely.”
Speaking at a rally in the same district, Besigye advised President Yoweri Museveni to “surrender you [people of Bukwo] to Kenya”.
He said the condition of the roads was horrible.
Residents also said they have electric poles but have not had power at all.
They still use donkeys for transporting goods.