ARUA. The campaign team for the detained Arua municipality parliamentary hopeful Mr Kassiano Wadri has said that they lost sh85m during the Monday evening raid at their campaign bureau at Hotel Pacific from where the candidate and over 40 members of the taskforce were arrested.
Mr Francis Gonahasa, the Kabweri county MP said the money had been reserved to facilitate polling agents to monitor the Wednesday polls.
He added that their computers were also confiscated, leaving the team to rely on note books to monitor the polls.
“I survived the arrest because I had gone out to take a drink at another hotel when the security force descended on Pacific hotel,” he said.
Mr Gonahasa was briefing journalists at Buddies pub on Tuesday. Accompanying him was the former Arua district woman MP Christine Abia who missed being arrested by fleeing faster than the closing soldiers.
Mr Gonahasa blamed the nasty fracas on poor planning of the rout for the presidential convoy.
“Whoever was in-charge of intelligence in planning the routing for the president’s convoy must take the blame. We were supposed to have a rally at Basaa ward, we were told not to have it; then we went to Prison cell, we met the president’s convoy as we were marching to the town and I saw the president sat peacefully,” he said.
The MP said it could be true that hooligans were planted among the crowd following Mr Wadri but he did not witness the stoning of the motorcade and the point blank shooting of Mr Kyagulanyi’s driver Yasin Kawuma in front of Pacific hotel cannot be termed as a result of a crossfire.
Ms Abia insisted that Mr Kawuma was a victim of a bullet not meant for him. “Whoever shot that young man did it because he does not know Mr Kyagulanyi well.That is the price the young people are paying for democracy but we are more determined to fight on,” she said as she urged the people to turn up in big numbers to vote for Mr Wadri.
Earlier, Mrs Josephine Angucia, the West Nile regional police spokesperson disclosed that Mr Wadri was being held at a secure police facility and that negotiations were underway between his lawyers and police to secure a bond for him.
She said the police have preliminary preferred charges of coursing malicious damage to president’s vehicle against Mr Wadri.
“According to preliminary investigations, we have preferred charges of malicious damage to the president’s vehicle against the suspects but as investigations are still ongoing, other charges like inciting violence and many others may also come in,” Mrs Angucia said.
Others being held also include MPs Paul Mwiru, Gerald Karuhanga, Robert Sentamu Kyagulanyi and former MP Michal Mabike.
These are being held in different detention facilities outside the West Nile region because police cells in the region are reportedly too congested.
A statement issued by Mr Emmilian Kayima, the Uganda police spokesperson said the above were being detained in connection with obstructing the motorcade of the president at a place called transport junction.
“We caution the public that it is criminal to obstruct and or attack the presidential motorcade as it contravenes the Traffic and Road Safety Act as well as provisions of Penal code Act. To that effect, it is incumbent on all members of the public to be cautious and desist from ever attempting to engage in such acts of criminality that often result into regrettable consequences as seen above,” the statement reads in part.
Mr Kayima said they encourage all voters in Arua municipality to come out on Wednesday and exercise their constitutional and democratic rights to freely cast their votes for their preferred candidate.
Also arrested were two journalists, Mr Herbert Zziwa and Mr Ronald Muwanga who were taken to Gulu but have since been released on police bond.