Uganda: One Shot Dead, Three Injured at DP Candidate Rally in Kyotera

A Democratic Party (DP) supporter was on Friday evening killed and three others severely injured while attending a rally at Nakatoogo playground, Nabigasa Sub County in Kyotera District.

The incident happened at 4:00 PM during a campaign rally organised by Mr John Paul Mpalanyi, a DP flag bearer for the Kyotera County parliamentary seat.

Police identified the deceased as Mr Richard Kayabula, 44, a businessman in Nakatoogo trading center.

The injured include Mike Nalima, 20, a barber in Nakatoogo Trading Centre, Ester Nabbaale,13 a Primary Seven pupil of Nakatoogo Primary School and Hakim Walukagga, 35 a farmer in the same area.

Dr Emmanuel Ssekyeru, the medical superintendent Kalisizo General Hospital said Kayabula had died a few minutes on arrival at the facility and a postmortem report will be released soon.

“What I observed on arrival, the deceased’s head had a very big wound and blood was oozing out of him which could have led to his death,” Dr Ssekyeru said

According to Mr Patrick Kintu Kisekulo, the Kyotera district Chairperson who was also at the same rally, “Police shot at people deliberately even when they had not done anything wrong.”

“Police led by the Kyotera District Police Commander Ms Judith Akello stormed the venue and approached me saying they had received intelligence information that we had kidnapped someone from a rival camp. I told her that such information was not true, but a few minutes later, her people went on to fire teargas and bullets killing one of our supporters,” he said

Mr Kisekuulo, who seeks to retain his seat, lost to Mr Charles Lubega Ziriddamu in the recent National Resistance Movement party primaries, but refused to support the official flag bearer and stood as independent. Currently, he moves with Opposition candidates at all their campaign rallies.

Mr Mpalanyi who visited the victims at the hospital said police in the district have become partisan and they disperse Opposition rallies under the pretext of flouting Electoral Commission and Covid-19 guidelines but leave ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) candidates to campaign freely.

The DP candidate seeks to unseat State Minister for Microfinance Haruna Kasolo as Kyotera County legislator.

Others in the race are Mr Godfrey Kirumira of National Unity Party (NUP) , Adam Tebajjwa (JEEMA) , Selegious Ndarike (Ind) and Livingstone Ssali(Independent).

“I wonder how Police in Kyotera operates because a day before our rally [Thursday], Mr Kasolo had organised a mammoth rally at Kalisizo playground in Kalisizo Town Council where he even hired local musicians to sing to supporters, but a single policeman appeared at that rally to enforce the Covid-19 guidelines,” he said.

However, Ms Judith Akello , the Kyotera District police commander, said they had opened investigations into the incident.

“Our team is yet to ascertain what exactly happened and the public will be informed,” She said

Several people have been injured in election-related incidents ever since campaigns kicked off in early November.

In most of the incidents police and Army have been breaking up rallies saying the organisers are flouting Covid-19 guidelines which may spread the virus .

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