Police in Rubanda District over the weekend used tear gas and live bullets to disperse a group of people who had blocked the vehicle belonging to Rubanda East Member of Parliament Henry Musasizi Ariganyira using tree logs and stone boulders.
The shocking incident happened at around 2:30 pm when Musasizi was coming from attending Sunday services at Hakashekye and Kibuzigye Cathoilic Churches, in Bubare Subcounry.
However on his way back, Musasizi found improvised road blocks at Hamuhambo Trading Centre in Kagarama Parish. The road blocks were created from tree branches, logs and stone boulders.
Police backed by the UPDF swung in action to rescue the Rubanda District NRM Chairperson whose body guard was at that moment firing live bullets in the air as warning to anyone who dared come near the stuck Land cruiser -Pajero.
A few residents who identified themselves as Musasizi’s supporters helped the security officers to unblock the road as they lifted the logs amidst cursing and threats of revenge.
The gentlemen who refused to identify themselves directed security officers to where the suspected hoodlums had escaped to. Tear gas canisters were thrown in the direction pointed to, before the officers ran to the bushes and searched the whole place without picking any suspect.
From Hamuhambo, Musasizi was escorted by the police patrol car with four police field force Unit –FFU officers until he reached Bunyonyi road and proceeded to Kabale town. The rest of the police officers remained at Hamuhambo Trading centre searching for the suspected criminals.
Though people who blocked the road were not there by the time Musasizi reached the blocked section of the road, he said he “was sure” his political opponent Mr. Jogo Kanneth Biryabarema had facilitated the unknown “hooligans.” Biryabarema, the incumbent LC5 Chairperson Rubanda District is one of the five candidates racing for the Rubanda East Parliamentary seat in the 2021 election. He denies the allegation.
While speaking to this media house in a phone interview, Mr. Birayabarema said he was at his home in Bushura parish, Bubare subcounty when the incident happened. He said he heard the “unfortunate story” from someone else, but denied involvement in the arrangement of the roadblocks.
Meanwhile, the Kigezi Regional Police Spokesperson Elly Maate condemned the road blocking. He said Police was determined to arrest anyone who participated in the act and arraign them in court to answer charges accordingly.
By the time of filling this story, heavily armed police and the UPDF were still deployed at Hamuhambo trading center to handle any post-riot occurrence.
Biryabarema was defeated by Musasizi in the NRM Parliamentary Primary held on 4th September 2020. Biryabarema petitioned the NRM Elections Tribunal citing cases of malpractice, but after a recount, Musasizi was again declared the winner.
Biryabarema was consequently nominated as an independent candidate arguing that he had been robbed of his victory in the NRM Primary election. He attended the NRM reconciliation meeting that was recently held in Rubanda District chaired by officials from the party secretariat, but he rejected the call to reconcile with Musasizi and step down from the Rubanda East Parliamentary election.
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