Editorial

Uganda: Politics, fights over the body of ruling party MP

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By Richard Mugume

newdesk@greatlakesvoice.com

At least one person was reportedly shot dead as police strained to contain thousands of youths who wreaked havoc from Arua Airfield to the home of the deceased MP.

The youth blocked the ambulances carrying the bodies of Abiriga and his brother Said Kongo from moving from the airfield; later on seized the bodies from the ambulances and marched with them on the streets, and at home, destroyed chairs, tents and property on top of assaulting some of the mourners.

These were supposedly protesting government’s failure to protect Hon Abiriga, who was gunned down along with his brother last Friday as he returned to his home in Matugga in Wakiso district.

The ruling party NRM, are accusing the opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) of masterminding yesterday’s ugly scenes in Arua Municipality, after the body of area MP Hon Ibrahim Abiriga arrived from Kampala.

Speakers at the final send-off of the 62 year old MP this afternoon, in Lakudu village in Rhino Camp Sub County, claimed the chaos was organized by the FDC.

NRM Secretary General Justine Kasule Lumumba, said while the Leader of Opposition Hon Winnie Kizza had on Sunday warned against politicizing Abiriga’s death, some FDC member’s including an MP she didn’t name, decided to mobilize people to cause chaos.

“It was shock to all of us, seeing on TV members of the community, carrying signs of FDC, not NRM…they went and grabbed the body from government, went and destroyed Hon Abiriga’s property. What kind of heart is that?” she said.

“One MP from West Nile who attended the family meetings, went on the side and mobilized the people to do that, and as he did; what hurts me most is; where was the intelligence to pick these people, so that politicians don’t take advantage of this sad situation.

Lumumba asked President Yoweri Museveni to take action against the alleged perpetrators.

“Information is all over the streets of Arua; let these people be disciplined surely. How did the family look at the government in power surrendering the body to them, and they went and destroyed the home, and property.”

By publication time, President Museveni who attended the funeral was yet to respond to these claims.

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