NEBBI. The residents of Nebbi municipal council have linked the newly established Nebbi army detach along Arua – Nebbi road to the recent fracas that led to burning of the district national resistant movement (NRM) chairman, Mr George Kermundu’s office.
Kermundu’s office was set ablaze by unknown arsonists shortly after the declaration of the controversial Nebbi Municipality Parliamentary election results.
Angry voters accused Kermundu of taking part in what they termed as a botched election process that saw the NRM candidate defeat the FDC flagbearer.
After the incident, government was forced to open up an army detach just 200 meters from the town centre, a move which the locals have continued to question.
Mr Alex Ogen, a resident of the municipality said the deployment of the army in the town centre is uncalled for since it seems to be a partisan decision on the side of the government.
He said in 2011 during the disputed district chairperson election, there were protests that led to death of civilians in the town but no single army detach was created thereafter.
“Now because of the threat to the NRM chairperson, the whole detach has been brought here as if the army is meant to protect the interest of the ruling party. This is wrong and we are not happy about it,” said Ogen.
In a related incident, Mr Ronnie Japiamo, the Nebbi central division chairperson conquered with Ogen saying the army was only brought in because of the attempt to burn the chairman's office and his residence.
“I’m surprised that the whole detach can be brought to protect one person following such simple political misunderstandings. The act is purely wastage of tax payers’ money which could have been used for other developmental projects,” Japiamo said.
But when contacted, Lt. Stephen Otim, the officer in charge Nebbi army detach denied all the allegations saying the soldiers do not belong to NRM alone but for the people of Uganda.
He said they are in the district to help police in maintaining law and order but not only to protect an individual as alleged.
Meanwhile Kermundu told West Nile Web on phone that those complaining about the presence of the army in Nebbi are likely to be wrong people who are out there to wish him bad.
“People who are against the deployment of the army in Nebbi are against the district and above all, they don’t wish me well. If they are not wrong people with bad plans, why should they get worried of the presence of the army?” Kermundu asked.
“To be sincere, this election was worse than that of 2011 because this time round, people’s houses were vandalized, burned and property worth millions of shillings looted and destroyed with many other residents beaten to near death,” Kermundu added.
He said the decision to bring in the army was taken during a security meeting but not his own initiative as insinuated since he doesn’t have that capacity to establish a detach.
Kermundu said the decision was taken after noticing that the riotous locals had overpowered the police.